Daniel Yao Domelevo
President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo has declined a request for him to reinstate the Auditor General (AG), Daniel Yao Domelevo.
In a letter dated June 30, 2020, the President had directed the AG to proceed on his accumulated leave from 2017 to 2019, which totalled 123 days, and when Mr. Domelevo replied creating the impression that the government was subjecting him to witch-hunting, the President added his 2020 leave making it 167 days.
As a result, a coalition of civil society organizations (CSOs) started mounting campaigns against the government and asked the President to rescind his decision of asking Mr. Demelevo to proceed on his accumulated leave.
According to the coalition, even though the decision is said to be grounded in law, a proper examination of the context of its application in relation to the independence of the AG showed what they claimed to be interference in the mandate of the AG.
Speaking on behalf of the coalition at a press briefing in Accra recently, the Executive Director of CDD-Ghana, Dr. Kojo Asante, said framers of the 1992 constitution could not have intended to create a simple employer-employee relationship between the appointing authority, thus the President and other independent offices such as the AG.
“If this understanding is accepted then it means that the President can direct the Chief Justice, the Commissioners of the Electoral Commission (EC) and the Commissioners of the Commission for Human Rights and Administrative Justice (CHRAJ) to proceed on leave when he sees fit,” he said.
Later, two other concerned persons — Korieh Duodu (son of Cameron Duodu) in the UK and Lolan Sagoe-Moses in Accra — claimed in a petition to the President that the directive was “an unconstitutional and flagrant interference with the independence and mandate of the Office of the Auditor General,” and called on the President to reconsider the decision.
They contended that Article 187(7) (a) of the 1992 Constitution of Ghana which states that “the Auditor General shall not be subject to the direction or control of any other person or authority” provides a “clear and unambiguous” constitutional basis for the independence of the AG.
However, a letter dated 13th July 2020 and addressed to the two signed by the Secretary to the President, Nana Bediatuo-Asante, declined their request.
He acknowledged receipt of the petition by the two in a letter dated 8th July 2020, saying “the President encourages people to be citizens and not spectators and, therefore, your petition is welcome, and its contents have been duly noted.”
Nana Bediatuo-Asante, however, noted that “the position of the President as contained in the letter dated 3rd July 2020 from this office to the Auditor General remains the same,” insisting that “the argument made in your (the two) petition were considered prior to the President taking the decision to request Mr. Daniel Domelevo to take his accumulated leave from 1st July 2020.”
Accordingly, he indicated that “the President is unable to grant the request in your petition.”
The President, however, wished them well in their endeavours much as he disagreed with them and declined their request for the ‘controversial’ AG to be reinstated.
By Charles Takyi-Boadu, Presidential Correspondent