Council Of State Was Abused Under Mahama – Okudzeto
Legal luminary Sam Okudzeto says he would vigorously fight for more powers for the Council of State insisting the institution was abused under former President John Mahama.
He says he would champion a review of the Constitution to make the Council more effective because the current one was tailored for former President Rawlings.
He flagged the Montie 3 incident last year who were remitted by the former President after they had threatened some Supreme Court judges.
He said the remission of the three after serving a month of their four months custodial sentence was one of the worst episodes about the power and misuse of the Council. The advice to remit the sentence for the three convicts was believed to have come from the Council of State.
According to Okudzeto, for the Council to have gone ahead and granted “the rascal boys a pardon after threatening the judiciary and Chief Justice was nonsensical.”
The Council of State has recently come under intense public scrutiny following the revelation that each member is paid some GHC13,000 monthly to give advice which is not binding on the President.
Some analysts have even called for its scrapping insisting it is a waste of the nation's resources.
But the former Ghana Bar Association (GBA) president who was recently appointed to the new Council insists scrapping the constitutional body should not be an option.
“I want to see a Council of State that is more powerful, but perhaps even more inclusive so that we can have people of acumen, knowledge and experience who can be there as a proper guide to the presidency,”
Regarding his desire to review the Constitution to give the Council more power to bite, he said “it was taken [during the period of] dictatorship and they created a dictator in the Constitution by giving too much power to the president,” which makes him feel sorry for the president.
According to him, it is a foregone conclusion that the Council needs to be given more powers because sitting in a conclave and taking a decision with the president where the public do not know what you are doing could lead to speculation.