Friday, 29 September

SC ruling on Domelevo’s forced leave: Good precedent, landmark decision – Inusah Fuseini

Inusah Fuseini

A former member of parliament for Tamale Central, Inusah Fuseini has said the Supreme Court ruling declaring as "unconstitutional", the 167-day forced leave issued by President Nana Akufo-Addo, to the former Auditor General Daniel Domelevo through which he was forced to exit office is a landmark decision which has set a good precedent as the nation moves forward in its democratic dispensation.

The apex court made the determination on Wednesday, 31 May 2023.

Mr Fuseini, however, was unhappy the court took too long in its decision and wished the ruling had come when Mr Domelevo was in office.

Reacting to the ruling on the Class Morning Show, on Class91.3FM Thursday, 1 June 2023, the former lawmaker said “we are a common law jurisdiction and precedent plays important role in ensuring consistency, certainty, predictability in the law and so this is a very good precedent.”

“The president has acted, the court has held the act to be unconstitutional, we will be guided, lawyers will be guided, advisors to the president will be guided, the country itself will be guided, the supreme court, however constituted, will be guided, and so, this is a very important landmark decision,” he added.

In his view “I think the decision should have come earlier, the decision should have come when Domelevo was battling the matter not after he had left office but whatever be the case, it’s a decision of the supreme court and that will serve as a guide for future decisions and again the lower courts will have to give decisions in tandem with the decision of the supreme court”.

It will be recalled that the Director of Communications at the presidency, Eugene Arhin, in a letter dated July 2020 directed Mr Domelevo, to proceed on annual leave.

This sparked widespread controversy and resistance from a cross section of Ghanaians and anti-graft campaigners who raised concerns over the erosion of institutional independence and the protection of constitutional rights.

The order for Mr Domelevo to proceed on leave came after the Senior Minister then, Yaw Osafo-Maafo and four other officials from the Ministry of Finance sued Mr. Domelevo to clear their names in relation to what was said to be breaches of the Public Procurement Act (PPA) that resulted in their payment of US$1 million to a private UK firm, Kroll and Associates.

Mr. Osafo- Maafo had said he was resorting to the courts because “the evidence available shows clearly that the Auditor-General erred in law and professional procedures in the exercise of his powers regarding his audit on payments to Kroll and Associates Limited.”

Source: Mensah