Managing Partner of Prestige Partners, Lamtiig Apanga says the removal of Mr. Yao Domelevo from office as Auditor-General, may have been a decision to ‘show him where power lies.’

Mr. Apanga made this assertion while contributing to discussions on ‘The Contract of Employment,’ on JoyNews’ The Law on Sunday, January 23.

According to him, Public Service workers cannot be arbitrarily dismissed from post. In his view, for a Public Service worker to be sacked, there are a series of rigorous factors which must be considered and fully exhausted.

Citing the case of former Auditor General, Mr. Yao Domelevo, Mr. Apanga stated that due processes of law were not necessarily followed, and thus Mr. Domelevo’s sack may have been influenced by some political factors.

“The law says you can’t do this unless there’s just cause. I mean the very recent situation is what we had with the Domelevo issue. It may not be direct, but one can deduce from the surrounding circumstances of what happened with the investigation of the Senior Minister and some of the findings and decisions he [Domelevo] made and the public outcry. Particularly, it was a way to show him where power lies'”, Mr. Apanga stated.

He explained that, “the nature of public service sometimes requires public servants to undertake certain roles or jobs that may appear as embarrassing or placing certain persons in bad light. Particularly, persons who control or have power and influence.

This provision seeks to provide that protection against such victimisation or unreasonable conduct against persons who by the nature of their duty, may expose some ills or wrong doings and those wrongdoings may perhaps earn the officers who are culpable, as having been placed in bad light. So in order to provide that protection, the Constitution gives us this provision. Sometimes they are reduced in rank or transferred and rendered redundant as a form of punishment.”

On the night of March 3, 2021, the President retired the anti-graft campaigner who had just returned from a 167-day forced leave. In a letter signed by Nana Asante Bediatuo, the Secretary to the President said “The attention of the President of the Republic has been drawn to records and documents made available to this Office by the Audit Service, that indicate that your date of birth is June 1, 1960, and that in accordance with article 199 (1) of the Constitution, your date of retirement as Auditor-General was June 1, 2020,” the letter said.

This move was heavily criticized by a section of the public. These included civil society organisations who highlighted that the decision has the tendency of stifling the fight against corruption. But in an interview with CNN, the President said “the Auditor-General, like me… should be some of the first [persons] to recognize the laws in our country.”

According to him, the Auditor-General was not sacked from office, but was only due for retirement.

But touching on the issue, the private legal practitioner stressed that, dismissal from Public Service should be based on fair and justifiable grounds and not on arbitrary terms.

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