The recent ruling by the Anin-Yeboah Supreme Court (Or is it the Torkonoo Supreme Court?) of Ghana on the patently unsavory political practice of “Proceed on leave to retirement” order disturbingly issued to then Auditor-General Daniel Yaw Domelevo by the present Akufo-Addo Presidency, some two years ago, while generally quite refreshing by way of precedent setting is, nonetheless, the most scandalous, tendentious and ethically hypocritical and an inescapable travesty of justice of the most egregious kind. This is because it was at least the second time, and not the very first time, that a newly elected government had felt motivated to summarily remove a holdover appointee from the previous regime whom the movers-and-shakers of the newly elected government did not feel comfortable to work with for any number of reasons, both clearly and publicly specified or otherwise, contrary to what some supporters of this ruling would have the rest of us believe.
It well appears to this writer that the President, being the substantive Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of all State Enterprises, both literally and figuratively, is statutorily empowered to hire and fire employees or personnel that s/he and the latter’s deputies, representatives and assigns deem to be either best qualified for the job or not, with tenable or logically and professionally justifiable reasons, for the most part, whether the rest of us, the general Ghanaian public, agree or disagree with the decision of our constitutionally mandated Chief Executive of State or not (See “ ‘We Knew Akufo-Addo Goofed; It’s a Great Precedent They Have Set’ – Professor Gyampo Hails Supreme Court Ruling on Domelevo” Modernghana.com 6/1/23).
This entire downright vindictive culture of “proceed on leave to retirement” may very well be a flagrant or a very bad political culture, or subculture, established in the heydays of military dictatorships in the country, perhaps beginning with the Generals Ankrah and Kotoka-led junta of the National Liberation Council (NLC) that both paradoxically and auspiciously ousted the Kwame Nkrumah-led elected civilian, one-party dictatorship of the Convention People’s Party (CPP) on February 24, 1966. In our time, that is, fourth-Republican Ghana, however, it was the late President John Evans Atta-Mills, an internationally renowned legal light, scholar and former member of the Faculty of Law at the country’s oldest and most prestigious tertiary academy, the University of Ghana, Legon, who may very well have initiated such patently unhealthy practice. And it regarded an Auditor-General appointed by the previous John “The Gentle Giant” Agyekum-Kufuor-led government of the New Patriotic Party.
And the period in reference was early 2009, shortly after the kleptocratic Atta-Mills-led government of the pathologically vindictive National Democratic Congress assumed the reins of governance. Those among our nation’s class of intellectuals and the National Democratic Congress’ political and ideological opposition euphorically hailing the latest Supreme Court Decision on the dismissal of the John “Gnassingbe” Dramani Mahama-appointed Auditor-General, may very well have deliberately and conveniently forgotten the readily verifiable fact that among the very first casualties of this downright and patently unsavory and politically vindictive culture of “Proceed on leave to retirement” was one Mr. or Prof. Agyeman-Duah – if memory serves this author accurately – who had been appointed as Auditor-General by the previous Agyekum-Kufuor Administration.
Now, for those of our readers who may have so soon and, perhaps, even conveniently forgotten this, Mr. or Prof. Agyeman-Duah, as yours truly vividly recalls, was openly and shamelessly and, perhaps, even strategically regarded as one of the numerous “Ashanti Projects” that the Mills-Mahama regime was dead-set on thoroughly eradicating from Ghana’s socioeconomic, political and bureaucratic landscape, strikingly in much the same manner and policy direction taken by the late Chairman Jeremiah “Jerry” John Rawlings-led extortionate and sanguinary juntas of the Armed Forces Revolutionary Council (AFRC) and the Provisional National Defense Council (PNDC), the immediate ideological and institutional parent of the present terror-sponsoring machinery of the Rawlings-founded National Democratic Congress.
At any rate, while, indeed, two wrongs do not make a right, as the tired old maxim goes, still, it goes without saying that what is good for the goose is equally good for the gander. So, why didn’t our august Supreme Court take a logically and historically justifiable look at the equally vindictive removal of Auditor-General Agyeman-Duah by the newly elected Mills-Mahama Presidency? Or is this essentially or fundamentally because the relatively far more enlightened leaders of the New Patriotic Party have tended to be more law-abiding and respectful of the judiciary than their generally swashbuckling counterparts among the vanguard ranks of the National Democratic Congress? Is this flagrant and brazen victimization of the Akufo-Addo Presidency by the Anin-Yeboah Court really an emulative act of a morally sound and righteous precedence or sheer cowardice? We deserve some answers here.
*Visit my blog at: KwameOkoampaAhoofeJr
By Kwame Okoampa-Ahoofe, Jr., PhD
English Department, SUNY-Nassau
Garden City, New York
June 2, 2023
E-mail: [email protected]