The Attorney General’s (AG’s) Department has opposed an application by Professor Kwaku Asare seeking to put injunction on President Akufo-Addo’s directive on Auditor General Daniel Domelevo to proceed on his 167 days accumulated leave.
In its affidavit in opposition, the AG’s Department contended that the application for interlocutory injunction filed by Prof. Asare did not demonstrate how the reliefs sought by him in the substantive suit against the order for Mr. Domelevo to proceed on leave would be defeated or rendered nugatory if the injunction was not granted.
Prof. Kwaku Asare, known on social media as Kwaku Azar, filed a suit at the Supreme Court seeking to set aside the 167 accumulated leave days of Mr. Domelovo which took effect on July 1, 2020.
He is seeking an order from the apex court that the President’s directive is inconsistent with or is in contravention with the letter and spirit of Article 187(7) (a) of the 1992 Constitution.
The suit joined the AG, the Auditor General and the acting Auditor General, Johnson Akuamoah Asiedu, as defendants.
He contends that the Office of the Auditor General is a very important position which should not be toyed with.
Prof. Asare explained that it is a right earned by an employee that should not be available to the appointing authority to be deployed as a sanction to exercise disciplinary control.
Per the reliefs, Prof. Asare wants a declaration that except for stated grounds in Article 146 of the 1992 Constitution, the Auditor General’s tenure cannot be disturbed by presidential directives whether couched as accumulated leave,
involuntary leave, suspension, interdiction, temporary removal, disciplinary control, or however styled, and he may remain in office until he attains the compulsory retirement age of 60 years.
Also, a declaration that the President’s directive to the Auditor General to
hand over all matters relating to his office to Mr. Johnson Akuamoah Asiedu is inconsistent with or is in contravention with the letter and spirit of Articles 187(1) and 187(7)(a) of the Constitution, 1992.
He is also declaring that the President’s appointment of Johnson Akuamoah Asiedu to act as the Auditor General is inconsistent with or is in contravention of the letter and spirit of Articles 187(1), 187(7)(a).
Prof Asare wants an order directing the President, his agents, assigns, privies, servants and whomsoever of whatever description to cease and desist from
issuing directives to the Auditor General.
Again, an order directing the President, his agents, assigns, privies, servants and whomsoever of whatever description to cease and desist from exercising disciplinary control over the Auditor General.
He also wants an order directing Johnson Akuamoah Asiedu to cease and desist
from performing the role of an acting Auditor General as well as an order invalidating any decisions taken by Mr. Akuamoah Asiedu subject to ratification by the Auditor General.
The AG’s Department, in its opposition to the interlocutory injunction, contends that “the instant application for interlocutory injunction by plaintiff is to personalize the performance of an official function by a public office holder, such that in his absence, not even the one acting for him can perform those functions.”
It said Prof. Asare’s interlocutory injunction is an egregious affront to the letter and spirit of Article 297(h) and (j) of the Constitution, which effectively require that words directing a public officer to do an act or thing by the designation of his office, or a power conferred on the holder of an office shall apply to the deputy, his assistant or a person for the time being performing the particular public function.
It added that “in consonance with Articles 297(h) and (j) of the Constitution, as a matter of practice, the Office of the Auditor General has in times past presented many audit reports to Parliament signed by a Deputy Auditor General acting as Auditor General, whenever the substantive holder of the office is absent for one reason or the other.”
Meanwhile, the AG has filed an application asking the court to strike out the Auditor General and Johnson Akuamoah Asiedu as defendants.
It said the action being challenged was an official act of the President in the course of his duties as President of the Republic and Article 88(5) of the Constitution enjoins the AG to be the defendant in all civil proceedings against the state “and to this extent the 2nd and 3rd defendants are improper parties to the action and ought to be struck out as such.”
BY Gibril Abdul Razak