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29.01.2009 Politics

Minority Blasts Mills Team

By Daily Guide

THE TRANSITIONAL Team of the ruling National Democratic Congress (NDC) has been described by the Minority Caucus in Parliament as unknown creature in the constitution, whose actions are tantamount to contemptuous disregard of law, intimidation and violation of independent constitutional bodies in the country.

Addressing a news conference at Parliament yesterday, Minority Leader, Hon. Osei Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu explained that the Auditor-General (A-G) was unceremoniously summoned and made to submit a draft audit report on Ghana @50, which according to the Minority is clearly illegal as by law he may only submit interim or final reports to Parliament and by international best practice submit draft reports to the auditee for comments of the auditee before the preparation of a final report.

The invitation of the Auditor-General, Edward Dua-Agyemang by the transitional team and its intimidating posture towards to the A-G which compelled him to exclaim “…you can't teach me how to do my job!”, smacks of an inquisition and a return of the notorious and infamous citizens vetting committee of the 80s.  

“This smacks of a creeping dictatorship and puts our young democracy at risk. We call on the good people of this country to stand up against and reject this creeping dictatorship, arrogance and actions of impunity. We call on all independent institutions of State to stand firm,” the Minority Leader urged.

He stated that the Minority was not against the process of accountability and indeed would support any action to that effect but would always insist on the constitutional way of doing things to protect rule of law in the country.

Hon. Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu submitted that “the Auditor-General is a creature of the Constitution and his office is established under article 187 of the Constitution. As provided in article 187(2) and 187(5) the Auditor-General prepares reports on the public accounts of Ghana which he submits to Parliament”, Hon. Osei Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu noted, strongly affirming that the Transition Team, a body unknown to our constitutional dispensation does not have the power to summon the Auditor-General.

According to the Minority Leader, the President has some power in requesting the Auditor-General to do some audit but even that power is only exercised on the advice of the council of state which is at the moment non-existent.

“Even then, it is our contention that the destination of the report so ordered by the President under article 187 (8) of the Constitution should be presented in Parliament and nowhere else and certainly not the corridors of the NDC transition team,” the Minority asserted, emphasizing that the actions of the team are blatant attempt to undermine the independence of a constitutional body.

Just a couple of days ago the Minority had the opportunity to draw the attention of Ghanaians to some unfortunate acts of omissions and commissions of the NDC transition team.

It recalled the activities of Alhaji Mohammad Mumuni who was designated as the President's representative for the Interior.

According to the Minority Leader, Alhaji Mumuni wrote a letter transferring Mr. Amegashie from the Ministry of Ports, Harbours and Railways to become the Ag. Chief Executive of Driver and Vehicle Licensing Authority (DVLA).

According to Hon. Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu, Mr. Amegashie is a civil servant and Civil service transfers are done by the Head of Civil Service and that even if Alhaji Mumuni were the Minister of the interior he would not be able to transfer a civil servant from the then Ministry of Ports, Railways and Harbours to the Ministry of Transport.

Furthermore, “the same Alhaji Mumuni wrote under his own hand imposing a curfew on Bawku and Gushegu and their surrounding environs. The imposition of a curfew can only be done by executive instrument”, Hon. Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu posited explaining that Article 58(5) of the constitution reserves the power of authentication of constitutional and statutory instruments to only the President and Ministers.

“In addition, both the Emergency Powers Act and the Public Order Act, 1994 Act 491 limit the authentication of an executive instrument to only the President and a Minister. Alhaji Mumuni's actions are a clear violation of our laws,” he added.

According to the Minority Leader, after Alhaji Mumuni's attention was drawn to these violations he proceeded to issue another executive instrument further extending the curfew in Bawku and Gushegu townships and their environs.

“These actions of Alhaji Mumuni are tantamount to a total disregard for our law, crass arrogance and impunity of the highest order. In the face of this, we wish to assure Ghanaians that we would remain firm and resolute in our determination to decapitate the resurging culture of impunity in our bid to protect and defend the constitution of the land by all legal means,” the Minority concluded

By Awudu Mahama