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13.06.2005 Crime & Punishment

Timber merchant sues Attorney General

Timber merchant sues Attorney General

Takoradi, June 13 -- The national treasurer of the Ghana Timber Association (GTA), Mr. Isaac Kofi Nketiah, has filed a writ at the Supreme Court in Accra praying for an order of perpetual injunction to restrain the Attorney General and Minister of Justice from permitting the chief executive officer of the Forestry Commission (FC), Mr. Boakye Dapaah, to stay in office beyond his compulsory retirement age.

He is also seeking a declaration that upon a true and proper interpretation of Article 199(1)of the constitution Mr. Boakye Dapaah is not entitled to remain in office as chief executive of the FC beyond July, 21, this year on which date he would have attained the compulsory retiring age of 60 years and that his remaining in office beyond the said date would be in contravention of and inconsistent with the constitution.

In his statement of claim accompanying the writ which was filed on his behalf by Bodza-Lumor and Co., a Takoradi-based legal firm, Mr. Nketiah said the Attorney General is the principal legal advisor to the government of Ghana and by article 88(c) of the constitution the person against whom all civil proceedings against the state shall be instituted as defendant.

He said Mr. Boakye Dapaah is a member of the public service of Ghana as provided by article 190(1) of the constitution and he is currently the chief executive officer of the FC established by the FC Act 1999, (Act571) as later amended by the Timber Resources Management amendment Act 2002, Act 617.

He contended that Mr. Boakye Dapaah was born on July 22,1945 and would attain the age of 60 years on the July, 21, this year.

Isaac Nketiah argued that by Article 199(1) of the constitution Mr. Boakye Dapaah, who is the second defandant in the case and a public officer, should retire from the public service upon attaining the age of 60 years, which falls on the above quoted date.

According to him notwithstanding the pendency of this Act, Mr. Boakye Dapaah had applied to the government to retain him in his position as chief executive officer of the FC beyond his retiring age to which the government had agreed.

He contended that the decision is a breach of the constitution.

The retention of the second defendant in the public service of Ghana, either as as chief executive officer of the FC or in any other position beyond July 21, this year would be contrary to the provision of Article 199(1) of the constitution and same be stopped by an injunction restraining the first defendant from allowing, permitting or causing the second defendant from continuing or remaining in office as the chief executive officer of the FC beyond the 21st of July, this year, he said.

Mr. Nketiah is also seeking a restraining order against Mr. Boakye Dapaah from remaining in office and or performing the fuctions of the chief executive of the FC after attaining his compulsory retiring age.

No date has yet been fixed for the hearing of the case.