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AG given 7 days to file statement in suit over security heads' appointments

The Supreme Court has given the Attorney-General seven days to file his statement of case in the suit filed by Policy think tank Imani Ghana, challenging the propriety of the executive's appointment of certain heads of uniformed security agencies.

Supreme Court of Ghana

The case, which was called on Thursday, May 23, 2024, was heard by Justice Samuel Asiedu.

In the writ, filed in association with security analyst Prof. Kwesi Aning, the plaintiffs request the apex court to declare 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 of the heads of these agencies unless upon proven misconduct or misbehavior established against these office holders.

These offices include 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 seek a declaration that the President of the Republic of Ghana, upon assuming office, does not have the power to make a fresh appointment to the office of the Chief Fire Officer of the Fire Service, the Inspector General of Police, the Director General of Prisons Service, and the Comptroller General of the Immigration Service unless the immediate holder of the office is deceased.

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They also seek relief stating 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.

Providing further details, the plaintiffs argue that new governments often compel the termination of these heads' appointments, 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, Emmanuel Yao Adzator, was asked to proceed on leave at the age of 54, and subsequently, another was appointed in his stead, the suit stated.

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Therefore, they demand 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 Prisons Service, and the Comptroller General of Immigration Service unless in cases of proven and stated misconduct or misbehavior 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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