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IMANI files new suit over security heads appointment; old suit withdrawn

Lawyers of IMANI Ghana and Security analyst Kwasi Aning have filed a new suit over the appointment of some heads of security agencies in the country by the executive withdrawing an earlier one filed at the Supreme Court.

The Supreme Court subsequently struck out the earlier one when the matter was called today, Wednesday, 5th June, 2024.

This follows lawyers of the Plaintiffs, IMANI Ghana and security analyst, Kwesi Aning, telling the Court that, they had filed a notice to discontinue the matter.

Prior to striking out the case, the Chief Justice, Gertrude Sackey Torkornoo described as “really unacceptable” the manner in which the case was publicized and its subsequent withdrawal.

She said it was “inappropriate” to come to the highest Court of the land as Applicant when “you don’t know what you want.”

The CJ said, in that situation, “don’t come here,” since the matter was highly publicised and has gained public attention.

The remarks by the Chief Justice followed the Plaintiffs’ Counsel’s indication to the Court that they have filed a notice of discontinuance to withdraw the action.

The panel of seven chaired by Chief Justice, Gertrude Torkornoo wondered why such a widely published matter that has gained public interest would be withdrawn.

Paa Joe Akuamoah Boateng, Counsel representing the Plaintiffs explained that the withdrawal was to allow for the case to be refiled following new developments.

A member of the Panel, Justice Prof. Henrietta Mensah Bonsu, drew Plaintiffs’ Counsel’s attention to ethical rules of dealing with matters filed at the Court.

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“You (Counsel) see the ethical rules of not putting a case in the media when filed?” Justice Mensa-Bonsu pointed to Counsel.

EIB Network’s Legal Affairs Correspondent, Murtala Inusah who was at the Supreme Court said, the Plaintiffs through their lawyers indicated they would be refilling the action.

Same was struck out with leave to refile by the apex court.

*Background*

In the writ filed in association with security analyst, Prof Kwesi Aning, the plaintiffs were asking the apex court to issue a declaration that upon a true and proper interpretation of the letter and spirit of Articles 200, 202(1), 202(2), 202(3), 205, 207(1), 207(2), 207(3), 190(1), 191,196, 199, and 269 of the 1992 Constitution of Ghana, the President of the Republic of Ghana has no authority to terminate the appointment or removal from office heads of the agencies unless only upon proven stated misconduct or misbehaviour established against these office holders.

These offices included the office of the Chief Fire Officer of the Fire Service; Inspector General of Police; Director General of Prisons Service and Comptroller General of Immigration Service.

Again, the two were seeking a declaration that “The President of the Republic of Ghana upon assumption of Office does not have the power to make a fresh appoint to the office of the Chief Fire Officer of the Fire Service; Inspector General of Police; Director General of Prisons Service and Comptroller General of the Immigration Service unless the immediate holder of the office is deceased…..”.

The Plaintiffs also were seeking relief that the appointment of the heads of these uniformed security services by a new president who has been voted into power and sworn into office is unconstitutional.

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Providing more details to back their case, the two argued that there are concerning trends where new governments compel the termination of the appointment of these heads while disregarding their constitutional rights.

“In some cases, these removals occur before the individual occupants of the office reach the statutory retirement age.

For instance in 2017, the then Director-General of the Prisons Service, Mr. Emmanuel Yao Adzator was asked to proceed on leave at the age of 54 and subsequently another was appointed in his stead,” the suit said.

They are, therefore, demanding a consequential order to restrain or prevent the President of the Republic from dismissing or removing or attempting to dismiss or remove the appointment of persons occupying the offices of the Chief Fire Officer of the Fire Service; Inspector General of Police; Director-General of Prisons Service, Comptroller General of Immigration Service unless only in cases of proven and stated misconduct or misbehaviour established against such persons or upon retirement or resignation or death or incapacity to perform the functions of the office because of infirmity of body and mind.

Source: Kasapafmonline.com

Mr Riddims

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