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IMANI, Prof Aning want Supreme Court to stop new gov'ts from sacking IGP, other security heads

Policy think tank, IMANI Africa, alongside Prof Kwesi Aning, has taken a bold step by filing a writ at the Supreme Court, invoking Article 2(1) of the 1992 Constitution. The move aims to challenge the constitutionality of the removal and dismissal of key security personnel upon the assumption of office by a new government.

IMANI, Prof Aning want Supreme Court to stop new gov'ts from sacking IGP, other security heads

The plaintiffs argue that the removal of the Inspector General of Police, Controller General of the Immigration Service, Chief Fire Officer of the Ghana Fire Service, and Director General of the Prisons Service without just cause violates Article 191(b) of the constitution. They contend that these institutions are integral parts of Ghana's public services, and the dismissal of their heads must be justified under constitutional provisions.

Emphasizing the regimented nature of these services, the plaintiffs assert that leadership within these institutions should ideally be promoted or appointed from within, subject to the service conditions of the organizations they serve. Despite this, successive governments in Ghana have routinely replaced heads of these institutions upon assuming office, regardless of their tenure or performance.

IMANI Africa and Prof Kwesi Aning are seeking several declarations from the Supreme Court, including:

1. A declaration that per the constitution the president has no authority to terminate the appointment of these heads unless only upon proven stated misconduct or misbehavior established against them or incapacity to perform their functions by reason of infirmity of mind or body or death or retirement or upon resignation.

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2. A declaration that upon assumption of office a new president has no power to make fresh appointment for these heads of institutions unless only upon proven stated misconduct or misbehaviour established against them or incapacity to perform their functions by reason of infirmity of mind or body or death or retirement or upon resignation.

3. A declaration that the practice of appointing new persons to replace these heads upon the assumption of office of new governments in the absence of proven stated misconduct or misbehavior established against them or incapacity to perform their functions by reason of infirmity of mind or body or death or retirement or upon resignation is unconstitutional.

4. A consequential order to restrain or prevent the president of the republic from dismissing or removing or attempting to remove any of these heads unless only upon proven stated misconduct or misbehaviour established against them or incapacity to perform their functions by reason of infirmity of mind or body or death or retirement or upon resignation.

The petition emphasises the critical importance of these security institutions and their impact on the state's security. It challenges the notion that their leadership should be subject to arbitrary removal at the will of the president and seeks to uphold constitutional principles of due process and institutional stability.

It remains to be seen how the court will interpret these constitutional provisions and the potential implications for governance and security sector management in Ghana.

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