BY: Mary Quartey
Parliament has bemoaned over the disregard to article 89 clauses 2(a) by H.E Nana Addo Dankwah Akufo-Addo in his appointments of 11 councils of state members.
This follows the publication of some appointed names unto the Council of State by the Acting Director of Communications at the Presidency, Mr. Eugene Arhin.
Mr. Eugene Arhin in the statement stated that the President subject to consultation with Parliament has also appointed in accordance with Article 89(2)(a)(i)(ii) and (iii), Georgina Theodora Wood, a former Chief Justice, Lt. Gen. J.B. Danquah, a former Chief of Defence Staff of the Armed Forces, and Nana Owusu Nsiah, a former Inspector-General of Police, to the Council.
The August House has, however, argued that this was not done since the President snub article 89 clause 2(a) of the constitution, of which appointments of a former Chief Justices, IGPs, Chiefs of Defence Staff to the council must be done in consultation with parliament.
The house attention was drawn to this by the Minority Leader Haruna Iddrisu who before the commencement of public business on Tuesday, February 02, 2021, indicated that the statement from the Communication Directorate was in contravention of the Constitution as no such consultations had been done with Parliament. He expressed concerns about the President’s failure to first notify the Speaker and also consult Parliament on these appointments specified in Article 89(2)(a)(i)(ii) and (iii) of the 1992 Constitution.
The Tamale South MP stressed that Article 89(2) requires that these categories of members of the Council must be appointed by the President in consultation with Parliament adding that appointments of this nature are a shared responsibility between the executive and legislative arms of government. He said the Presidency must respect the institution of Parliament headed by the Speaker for such communications to formally come from the Speaker as official correspondence because the Council of State has a role to counsel the President and MPs should know those who are counselling him so that they can assess whether they will be giving him good or bad advice.
Meanwhile, MP for Okaikoi Central Patrick Yaw Boamah also drew the House’s attention to article 89 clause 2(b) which allows appointments to the Council of State without consulting parliament, hence arguing the President has not faulted. Arguing to it is the honourable member for North Tongu MP Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwa indicating that, the appointments involved categories requiring consultation with the legislature, adding the development smacks of gross disrespect since MPs only learnt about the appointments in the media.
Heretofore to that, the appointments involved categories requiring consultation with the legislature, adding that the development smacks of gross disrespect since MPs only learnt about the appointments in the media. In response, the Deputy majority leader, Alexander Afenyo-Markin thus suggested speaker A.S.K Bagbin might have been consulted without the knowledge of the entire house.
Meanwhile, the speaker of Parliament stated that he had not received any communication from the President in this respect neither verbal nor written, formal nor informal and that the Minority Leader was right in drawing the attention of the House to this constitutional infraction. he noted that this development constitutes a breach of Article 89(2) of the 1992 Constitution and in that regard announced that a message will be conveyed to the Office of the President for the appropriate thing to be done.
He implored the President’s handlers to know that before they go to the media on matters which require consultation with Parliament the Rt. Hon Speaker is officially notified since, according to him, the purpose of the House is to know the important decisions the President is taking so that the President can work with Parliament as an arm of government. He, therefore further directed that the anomaly be communicated to the office of the President for the proper thing be done.
Pointing out that the publication with regard to 89(2)(b) was in the right direction but with 89(2)(a) the office of the President got it wrong.