A former deputy minister Ibrahim Murtala Mohammed has said that it is “a complete joke” for President Akufo-Addo to have suspended the Upper West Regional Minister.

In an interview with Accra-based Starr FM, he said it was illegal for the president to issue such a directive.

“Since when did it dawn on the president to start taking such actions. If the president is saying that I’ve now resolved to start cracking the whips that is understandable. It’s a complete violation of the Constitution.”

He explained that the 1992 Constitution empowers the president to “fire” his appointees but not to suspend.

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“Article 81 says he can fire him. Now on what reason is he suspending the person. Let’s see what happens. Which provision of the Constitution are they evoking?”

Article 81 of the 1992 Constitution states: “The office of a Minister of State or a Deputy Minister shall become vacant if-

(a) his appointment is revoked by the President; or

(b) he is elected as Speaker or Deputy Speaker; or

(c) he resigns from office; or

(d) he dies.”

However, the 2nd Vice Chairman of the NPP, Nana Fredua-Agyeman Ofori Atta, said the president is acting within the confines of the Constitution.

“Anybody who doesn’t understand Article 81 of our Constitution in its clear terms is not speaking the truth… The Regional Minister has the option of resigning. He also has the option of staying in there and proving he did nothing wrong."

“The suspension of the Regional Minister sends a signal to other public officials serving under the Akufo-Addo administration,” he added.

President Akufo-Addo suspended the Upper West Regional Minister Sulemana Alhassan on Thursday (February 1, 2018).

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Mr Arhin also indicated that Deputy Upper West Regional Minister, Mr Amidu Ishaq, will act in his stead as Regional Minister, pending the conclusion of the investigation.

Mr Alhassan’s suspension comes after angry workers of NADMO, in the Upper West Region criticized the Regional Minister for protecting some lawless people who attacked the NADMO Regional Director.

They said that he prevented the police from arresting them.

Speaking on behalf of the workers the Regional NADMO Public Relations Officer, Erica Sieyi, said at a press conference on Thursday that they will not return to work until the youth are arrested.