15.11.2023 Feature Article

The Proposal for Scraping of Provision of Regional Ministers is a High treason Offence

The Proposal for Scraping of Provision of Regional Ministers is a High treason Offence
15.11.2023 LISTEN

Open Letter to Lawyer Clara Beeri Kasser Tee (Chairperson of the Constitutional Review Consultative Committee) please conduct proper risk assessment of Article 3 clause (3) subsection (a) which Clearly states that “any person who attempts to abrogate any part of it or attempt to do any such act commits offence of high treason”

Dear Lawyer Mrs. Clara Beeri Kasser Tee,

First of all, my dear Sister Clara, let me express my warmest greetings and felicitation to you for your election as the Chairperson of the Constitutional Review Consultative Committee (CRCC). Thus you are following the footprints of our late dear Father namely the late Pi Adiali Ayigatem the First, a late Paramount Chief of Chiana within the Chiana Paga Constituency.

If you can recollect he was one of the principal framers of the 1992 Constitution, precisely as the Chairperson of the Constitutional Consultative Assembly which drafted it in 1992. He was my Godfather, he helped me to obtain Scholarship from Chiana Paga District Council, and hence I must protect legacy or whatever his name was connected with. As the saying goes, ‘’evil triumph when knowledgeable persons and or Senior Citizens refused or failed to share their experiences or provide same to their nations’. Hence my submission.

Furthermore or coincidentally, you are as well following the footsteps of the work of our brother Professor Raymond Atuguba, also from Chiana Paga Constituency and others, who was a member/secretary of the Constitutional Review Consultative Committee (CRCC) as constituted by President Mills in 2010 which attempted to overhaul the work of the Constitutional Consultative Assembly of 1992.

I hope most of your work especially the none-entrenched Clauses of the Constitution will be implemented within the tenure of the current Regime of the Eighth Parliament of the Fourth Republic. Thus if even one amendment from your report is done effectively by Parliament, this would make you as another great female rendering Honour to Chiana Paga.

Thus we hope you may make a great mark in history like our sister, Miss CK Tedam (Catherine) from Chiana Paga who unlike you was an ordinary young teacher at a primary school in Bolga in 1970, when suddenly she became the second woman in Ghana to win a Parliamentary Seat in election in the Second Republic after then Hon Lydia Akanbodipo of Sandema Constituency, who was then first and only female MP in the Second Republic from 1969 to February 1972 on the ticket of NAL (CPP).

By January 19970, then Hon Mr CK Tedam (Clement) was disqualified as Hon MP for Chiana Paga Constituency. So a novice and an innocent Miss CK Tedam (Catherine) for name shake was drafted Mr CK Tedam from the classroom to compete on the ticket of the Progress Party for a sympathy vote for Mr CK Tedam (by name recognition) like the sympathy vote of Hon Mr James Quayson, earned when Hon Mr Quayson replaced Mr Hon James Quayson in the Assin North Constituency or Gandhi replaces Indira Gandhi as happened in India. So, CK Tedam (Catherine) was made to replace Mr CK Tedam (Clement) in the First Bye election in Ghana in March 1970 dubbed as the Northern Battle by some political Science Scholars and the Media then.

Hmm talking of sympathy vote, we are told the Second Northern Battle as coined by some Scholars and media will take place in 2024. The followers of Karl Marx must quickly change gear by dealing a lot on relevant national issues (revival plans) as advised by Professor Kpessa Whyte otherwise History will repeat itself again in the North (Northern Battle) with David defeats Goliath. That is if and only if Dr Bawumia demo the feature of a northerner or a man and say it as it is, as proclaimed by his friendly and nice boss.,

The pair Dr Bawumia, and His Excellency President Nana Addo, despite the actions of spoilers/exploiters in the regime, seemed to have demo a good synergy, as proclaimed or confirmed by the President on why he picked Dr Bawumia, according to him because of Dr Bawumia’s honesty/qualities of truthfulness, who speaks the truth, so Dr Bawumia needs to proof his boss right by speaking the truth on problems of a VP in a democratic dispensation in the Executive Presidential System, citing the situation in Kenya, Liberia during the era of Her Excellency Ellen Johnson and previous regimes in Ghana, why loyalty in adversity should be the attribute of a good VP as required by the Constitution of a VP (a spare driver or driver mate or a good wife in fulfilment of the pledge of for better or for worse mantra) as the magic wand.

I am waiting to hear what really happened which resulted in Dr Bawumia all of a sudden was air medevac by Air Ambulance to London by the current Chief of Staff in 2017 or so. Thus caused his swinging quickly to digitization and digitalization to demo the need for loyalty in adversity in the Executive Presidential system. The videos of the very curious Journalists of Joy News and TV3 into the situation on Dr Bawumia and we were told with documentary evidence of a healthy Dr Bawumia and the wife walking freely in London instead of Dr Bawumia been hospitalized in London. This speaks volume of a hidden episode.

Madame Chairperson of the CRCC, evidential material in the Fourth Republic speaks volume of some problematic issues with the Office of the Vice President. So we were told of previous incidents of attempts by two Vice Presidents to resign and others were beaten or devalued, these matters need to be looked into. So, I bring this matter up for your Committee to study the state of affairs surrounding (the elephant in) the Office of the VP, you need to Google for the Reflections on the Constitution, Law and Development by Professor Nana Dr Krobea Asante the Paramount Chief of Asokere Traditional area who was the Chairman of the Committee of Constitutional Experts which drafted the Constitution and the Work of the Committee of Experts on the 1992 Constitution

It will be realized that the Pi Adiali Ayigatem’s Constitutional Consultative Assembly jettisoned most of the recommendations in the report of the Constitutional Experts and rather tweaked or fined tuned the 1979 Constitution. Hence it is not true that the 1992 Constitution was made to satisfy Papa J or a Military Dictator as some populists dubbed it, so as to run amok with it in order to court public sentiments from the gullible persons.

We need to consider whether we truly need a sitting Vice President (VP) at all times or should we consider the President to nominate one of the cabinet Ministers as VP or the Cabinet Ministers nominate one of themselves (Cabinet Ministers) anytime the President is going out or not available to perform his functions. I think this is the situation in the Constitution of South Africa.

Enter Catherine or Miss CK Tedam a nonentity made history when she was drafted as a follower of Adam Smith (Capitalism) and was able to triumph over an elderly, well respected, and very seasoned politician and Lawyer namely Lawyer Logutirah of NAL (rooted from CPP), a follower of Karl Marx (Socialism).

Catherine as an ordinary teacher as stated was baptized/indoctrinated in capitalism and metamorphosed into Hon MP by accident and did well in Parliament, where she worked hard with Hon Lydia Akandupo for the enactment of the Ghana’s Maternity Leave law of 1971 in the Second Republic. Hence, a credit to her and her Constituency (Chiana Paga). So we look to you for a good job which must be implemented.

Madame Chairperson of the CRCC, I wish to remind you that the 1992 Constitution grants permission only to amend any part of it but not to abrogate any part of it, I repeat not to abrogate any part of it. Sister, an attempt to do so is a high treason offence. I refer you to Article 3 clause (3) subsection (a) of the 1992 Constitution which is in simple English language or states clearly that “any person who attempts to abrogate any part of it or attempt to do any such act commits offence of high treason.”

It is envisaged that may be out of overzealous or due to populism tendencies by some members of the CRCC to satisfy a gullible persons or public sentiments on the number of Ministers in an Administration in the Fourth Republic could be the reason for your committee unknowingly in an attempt to commit a high treason offence.

Please take note and notice is hereby served on you and your Committee that you are acting unlawfully, illegally or Unconstitutionally, Undemocratically, Incompetently and Irrationally. Take note that nobody whether a person or a Constitutional Creature that is whether the Speaker of Parliament/Hon MPs and Parliament or the Chief Justice and Judiciary or the President of Ghana and the Executive with powers granted to their respective Arms of Government as delegated Sovereign powers from the people of Ghana in the form of Legislative Power or Judiciary Power or Executive Power respectively has the power to change the structural or form of Government as provided by the Constitution. Period.

Please take note that the Constitution requires every Citizen to defend it hence taste of this submission. The Structural of Government is made of the three coequal lateral Arms of Government namely Legislature, Judiciary and Executive, with the Executive sharing executive powers with Constitutional Bodies (Independent Executive Bodies) as the Fourth Arm of Government.

A Constitution disallows the abrogation of the structure or form of Government. It is permissible in our Constitution do away with Deputy Ministers because the language use is that the President may appoint (optional) and not the post of a Regional Minister, which the President shall appoint as an essential element of Local or Regional Government.

To facilitate good Governance, the Country is divided into Territories or Regions and further into Districts. So the Executive Arm of Government which is responsible for running the Government machinery including implementing and enforcing of the laws of Ghana enacted by Parliament and does so by a form of Government machinery made of the National Executive (National Government Executive wing made of the National Development Planning Commission, the Cabinet and Ministries, National Security Council, National Disaster Management Council etc) and the Territorial or Regional Executive (Local Government including the Regional Coordinating Council, the Regional Security Council, Regional Disaster Committee etc all of these chaired by the Regional Minister).

Parliament is only mandated to amend a provision of the Constitution as per the procedure provided like fine tuning (tweaking) a language or change the number or composition but not the form of Government as prescribed, so the attempt to abolish part of the local Government level by scrapping the Post of Regional Ministers is a treasonable offence per the language of the Constitution at Article 3 subsection (3) (a).

Madame Chairperson let me remind you that All Sovereign power emanates or belongs to the people and is exercise in accordance to the Constitution and the Citizens exercise sovereign power either directly in an election or through their democratic elected representatives/Elected Civilian Authority and their Appointees.

Sovereign power under the Constitution is delegated to the following State organs (a) Judiciary. (b) Legislature, (c). National Executive. The National Executive has a delegated Executive structures which are to perform functions as spelt out in the Constitution in the Regions and the delegated executive powers in the Regions are exercised by the Regional Ministers and the DCEs.

Madame Chairperson, the Supremacy of the Constitution demands no person may claim or exercise State Authority except as authorized under the Constitution. Consequently, Sovereign power is exercise at the National Level and Regional Level as Ghana’s Constitutional form of Government which cannot be abrogated other than by unconstitutional means especially in a Military Coup.

Madame Chairperson, Ghana is currently divided into 16 territories dubbed as Regions with territorial waters. Each Region is to operate within a local Government system with the Regional Minister as Head of the Regional Executive. The President of Ghana, the Vice President and Cabinet are to exercise National Executive Powers. Please note that Article 76 speaks of a Cabinet which clearly states that Cabinet should not be less than ten or not more than 19 Ministers of State who together with the President and the VP constitute the Cabinet and are to exercise National Executive Powers. That is Government at the National Level.

On the other hand, Chapter 20 of the Constitution is very clear. It speaks on the Decentralization and local Government at the Regions with matters on Regional Ministers at Article 255 at Clause (1) Section (a) and at Article 256 at Clause (1) (a) this last one is a Constitutional imperative hence the President shall appoint the Regional Minister as the Rep of the President at the Regional Government level. Appointment of Deputy Minister is not Constitutional imperative so is it optional.

Sister, I agree with Professor Atuguba’s Commission that we should leave it as it is hence no amendment. Too much noise has been made about cost on Ministers say in the Regime of President Nana Addo, I think the wiser way to do is to compare the budget accounts as published by the Auditor General on the Office of Government machinery and the Ministries for the past 20 years for an informed decision. I promise you will be shocked that the cost on Government machinery in the regime of Nana Addo with the elephant size of government was far lower than that of some Regimes. Otherwise we have a serious problem of accounting, hence thievery envisaged. So let us be qualitative and not quantitative.

The issue of Ministers to be selected from Parliament must be maintained beside as a cost reduction measure our Political History demands so. A food for thought is the fact that a nominee to be elected as the Speaker of Parliament and to be voted by Hon MPs is done by the Executive behind the scene and the recent change of the leadership of the Minority Group by the Executive of the NDC, tells even a JHS pupil that Parliament cannot be Independent of the Executive. We need Regional Ministers so do not scrap it.

The President, the Vice President and Cabinet exercise National Executive Powers. Whilst the Regional Ministers and the District Chief Executives or MCEs exercise delegated executive powers at the Local Government level or Regional Executive Powers and District Executive Powers respectively, They exercise executive powers as delegated by the President or as the delegates (Reps) of the President who is the Head of National Executive and Chairman of National Security Council with his or her delegates as Chairpersons of the Regional Security Councils and District Security Councils as the form of the Executive Arm of Government in Ghana.

It must also be appreciated that the Regional Ministers are Chairpersons for the Regional Coordinating Council as at Article 255 and perform roles including in the conflicting laws on National Disaster Management Organization Act 1996 (Act 517) which Section 15 (1) speaks on Regional Disaster Management Committee and 15 (2) Speak of the Regional Minister as Chairperson of the Disaster Management Committee and the other conflicting law on or part is the National Disaster Management Organization Act 2016 (Act 927) section 25 (1) speaks on Regional Disaster Management Committee and 25 (2) Speaks on membership with the Regional Minister as the Chairperson and a member of Parliament for the affected area for the duration of the disaster only as temporary member at the Regional level.

Talking about local Government, please Pardon me to digress to say that Parliament must wake up from a slumber and have a second look on the two conflicting laws of NADMO both of which are valid or existing in our law books namely Act 517 of 1996 and Act 927 of 2016. This is causing poor show by NADMO.

Hon Members of Parliament and the AG/the President in 2016 slept on their job by not repealing Act517 of 1996 and when they enacted NADMO Law of 2016 (Act 927). Hence, the current poor show by NADMO or the seemingly confusion in the Lower Volta flood/Akosombu/Kpong Dams spillage with MPs receiving reliefs though by Act 927 of 2016, the MP is a member of the NADMO District Committee, that is the law passed by the same Hon MPs so they are violating the laws of Ghana when they failed to support or use the vehicle of NADMO to coordinate, receive and distribute reliefs.

It is possible that NADMO does not know the existence of the new NADMO law of 2016 otherwise the poor leadership of NADMO may be due to the usual rivalry between the two political parties of NDC and NPP which the conflicting laws affording the lucrative options to Directors of NADMO to pick and choose the law passed in the regimes of the NDC or NPP regimes to make his or her case.

Madame Chairperson of CRCC, you job actually deals with government since it emanates from the Constitution which is being reviewed by you. So a review of government is essential hence pardon me to digress further with conflicting laws with a matter related to BOG, a Constitutional Body.

The conflicting laws on Bank of Ghana, include Section 19 of Act BOG Act 2002 (Act 612) on emergency powers of the Governor in case of force Majeure situation, then the BOG Act 2016 (Act 918) which is silence on the in event of Force Majeure but speaks on what should be done when five percent of the GDP of the previous budget is to be exceeded. Lastly, the law that say that in event of force majeure or financial crisis, the Minister of Finance should invoke Section 3 of the Fiscal Responsibility Act 2018 (Act 982) by suspending the relevant law on the five percent of the GDP of previous budget as loans and advances to the State by BOG. Some of the laws are what are making the Constitution to look bad.

So Madame Chair, you will agree with me that the ugly noises on cash releases to the State by BOG and the impairment of the GHC60.8 Billion by BOG which prevented the collapse of the National economy, as well as facilitated the IMF bailout were unwarranted because per Constitutional mandate the BOG must ensure macroeconomic and financial stability. Constitutional provision should supersede an Act of Parliament.

The importance of Regional Executive under the Local Government Leadership must not be played with it. The problem most often is not the Constitution but the conflicting laws. For instance, it is envisaged that NADMO’s failure at the Local Government Level at Mepe and other areas for not able to coordinate issues of the Disaster effectively may be due to the two conflicting NADMO laws, notwithstanding the visits of the President and the VP to Mepe.

I may be right to say that the conflicting laws might have occasioned the perceived lukewarm attitude of both Nation Executive Government (the President and Cabinet, National Security Council and National Disaster Council or Committee) and the Regional Executive Government (the affected Regional Ministers, Regional Security Councils, Regional Disaster Committee, the DCEs and District Disaster Committee).

Thanks for the digression which was very important for me to make cases for why the Constitutional intention for or why the framers of the Constitution created the post of Regional Ministers as a constitutional imperative.

The above tells that beside a review of the Constitution before you make a final recommendation on the status of a Regional Minister, you need to study the role of the Regional Minister as required in the Constitution and other laws (Act of Parliament) and recommend the urgent need for them to be briefed/ orientated on their duties for them to work in a manner for the people to feel their presence or their authority. I think this one of the reasons, President Nkrumah established the Winneba Political Ideological and Leadership College.

I worked with Regional Ministers especially in the Western Region and Central Regions. I served as a member of the Western Regional Security Council under Dr John Abu of NDC1, Mrs. Lily Nkansa of NDC2 in the Regime of President Jerry Rawlings or Hon Regional Minister, Mr Boahen Aidoo (current CEO of COCOBOD) in the regime of President Kofour and others and found them workaholics. Same was found with Central Regional Ministers when I served at the same time, as a member of the Central Regional Security Council. So please maintain the Regional Ministers.

Madame Chairpersons Ghana currently shall have 16 Regional Ministers the number to be varied with the number of Territories or Regions of Ghana and by the Constitution not less than ten and not more than 19 Cabinet Ministers. So your recommendations should rather read not more than 45 Ministers of State (depending on the number of Regions of Ghana) as stated in one of my submission as published in the of website of Modern Ghana and in the website of News Ghana.

Your recommendation of not more than 25 Ministers as proclaimed is very wrong and illegal. The Constitution is clear at Article 256 there shall be Regional Ministers (almost equivalent to State Governors in other Nations’ Constitutions). The only difference is that the Governors are elected by the people but in our case Regional Ministers are appointed by the President and confirmed by Parliament.

Madame Chairperson let me stressed that this shall be so because the delegated Executive Power of a Region is exercise by the Regional Minister supported with the Regional Coordinating Council and various executive committees each Executive Committees is accountable to the Regional Minister who in turn is accountable to Parliament.

The worked load or the importance of Regional Ministers is enormous and must not be joked may be due to a very poor understanding of Government system or Constitutional issues by most us (the citizens) despite our academic laurels. Constitutional issues whether Judiciary at Supreme Court Level (Some countries also have Constitutional Courts) or Executive or Legislature are political decisions hence the word Constitutional is synonymous with Political because Politics like Religion is a way of life. Hence in USA, the opinion of a nominee for Supreme Court on controversial political issues like gay matters or lesbianism or Prostitution or Abortion is essential in making appointment for the post of a CJ and Justice of Supreme Court.

To drive my point home, I wish to say that your committee must be interested in ensuring peace and enabling environment in the Regions. The Regional Administrative Officer or Regional Coordinator Director (RCD) cannot be a replacement for a political executive like a Regional Minister. I am saying this based on wide experiences. For instance I worked with one Mr Homiah and Mr David Yaro who were very aged and seasoned Administrators with MA degree were RCDs for the Western Region and Central Region respectively.

Mr Yaro is the one who became Chief Director at the Jubilee House (then Flagstaff House) in former President Mahama’s regime. But I am sorry my experiences with the Regional Administrators tells me most of them may not able to handle political matters pertaining to the Executive. So my dear Sister (Kuyitemu that is how you are in Kasem or Grunshie) do not make a sad mistake by planned abrogation of the Post of Regional Ministers and spoil your good name just to satisfy the gullible majority.

Whoever thinks or told you that it will reduce cost does not understand local government system. It will rather cost more because the State may resort to the use of consultants or Special Aids or they may be delays or postponements of issues for donkey years hence additional cost in movements, hosting of affected concerned persons, time in prolong deliberations etc thus affecting production hence National GDP. Please Sister Clara, let the Regional Ministers Stay. You may please contact me through the media house by name Modern Ghana.

By Major Mohammed Bogobiri (Rtd).