A private legal practitioner, Martin Kpebu, has postulated that it is legal for a newly-sworn in president to appoint interim ministers until substantive ones are duly nominated, vetted, and approved by Parliament.
“It makes sense that naturally, the president should be given sometime to organise a new government, so in the interim some people should be giving the power to act,” he stressed.
Mr Kpebu’s comment follows the leader of the National Democratic Congress (NDC) Caucus in Parliament, Haruna Iddrisu, when he stated that President Nana Akufo-Addo is acting unlawfully for allowing some of his first term ministers hold onto their ministerial positions without following the legal processes.
Mr Iddrisu cited the Supreme Court Ruling of the J. H Mensah versus Attorney General 1997 and indicated that there is nothing like holding or acting ministers unless they have been nominated by the president, and the legislature has vetted and approved them.
However, citing the same Supreme Court ruling of the J. H Mensah versus Attorney General 1997, Mr Kpebu insisted that the NDC Member of Parliament(MP) got it wrong saying “to avoid the situation of a vacuum in governance the apex court has granted the power to the executive to appoint holding ministers.
“The clear provision of the law, per the interpretation of the Supreme Court is that the president has power to appoint some persons to act as acting ministers pending nomination, vetting and approval of substantive ministers and until someone challenges the ruling of the Supreme Court in the 1997 case, the citizenry is bound to heed to it,” Mr Kpebu asserted.
President Akufo-Addo in a letter on January 11, 2021, directed some former ministers to maintain their respective positions pending the appointment and subsequent approval of new ministers for his second term in office which included Ken Ofori-Atta, the former Minister of Finance; Alan Kyeremanteng, who was the Minister of Trade and Industry; Hajia Alima Mahama, the former Minister of Local Government and Rural Development and Kojo Oppong Nkrumah, former Minister of Information. –myjoyonline.com