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IMANI files new suit over appointment of security heads

Lawyers for IMANI Ghana and security expert Professor Kwasi Aning have filed a new suit over the appointment of certain heads of the security agencies in the country by the executive, withdrawing an earlier one filed at the Supreme Court.

Nana Addo with IGP George Akuffo Dampare

The Supreme Court subsequently struck out the old suit when the matter was called today, Wednesday, 5 June 2024.

This occurred after the lawyers for the plaintiffs, IMANI Ghana and Professor Kwasi Aning, informed 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 publicised and its subsequent withdrawal.

The panel of seven, chaired by Chief Justice Gertrude Torkornoo, expressed concern over the withdrawal of a widely publicised matter that had gained public interest.

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

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In the writ filed in association with security analyst Professor Kwasi Aning, the plaintiffs were requesting 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 remove from office the heads of the agencies unless it is upon proven stated misconduct or misbehaviour established against these office holders.

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

Additionally, the plaintiffs sought a declaration that the President of the Republic of Ghana, upon assuming office, does not have the power to make fresh appointments to these offices unless the immediate holder of the office is deceased.

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The plaintiffs also sought 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.

They argued that there are concerning trends where new governments compel the termination of the appointment of these heads while disregarding their constitutional rights.

The suit highlighted instances where such removals occurred before the individual occupants of the office reached the statutory retirement age.

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

Therefore, they are 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, the Inspector General of Police, the Director-General of the Prisons Service, and the Comptroller-General of the Immigration Service unless it is in cases of proven and stated misconduct or misbehaviour established against such persons or upon retirement, resignation, death, or incapacity to perform the functions of the office due to infirmity of body and mind.

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