Executive Director of the Media Foundation for West Africa (MFWA), Sulemana Braimah, has demanded an immediate implementation of recommendations in the Constitution Review Commission’s report.

The Commission set up in January 2010 by former President John Atta Mills recommended the removal of the Council of State, among others.

However, that recommendation and others have not been implemented after nearly a decade since the Commission presented its findings.

In an interview on Newsfile, Mr Braimah accused former President John Mahama and President Akufo-Addo of the non-implementation of the report, a development that gave room to inconsistencies in the payment of ex-gratia to some public sector workers and Council of State members.

He argued the time is ripe for the abolishment of the Council because its current composition and structure make it “useless” and “needless.”

“Like Togbe [Afede XIV] said, this is certainly a part-time job but you have Council of State members who are doing a full-time job, being paid a salary by the state by the taxpayer. For me, perhaps we need to look back at the Constitutional Review Committee report. I don’t know why President Mahama did not implement that report.

Implement constitutional review committee report on ex-gratia for Council of State – Sulemana Braimah
Samson Lardy Anyenini [left] and Sulemana Braimah [right]

“I think he was the best person to have activated the recommendations of the Constitution Review Committee report because the report was presented in December 2011; in July 2012, President Mills passed on and this was a Vice President who served under President Mills when the Committee was set up.”

He added, “Given that presidents come and they abandon activities of their predecessors, it is not surprising President Akufo-Addo comes and perhaps doesn’t want to deal with the recommendations.

Constitutional Review

Late President John Evans Atta Mills, on January 11, 2010, acting in accordance with Article 278 (1) of the Constitution, which confers on the President, the powers to appoint a Commission of Enquiry into matters of public interest, inaugurated the Constitution Review Commission (CRC).

The CRC was mandated to review the 1992 Constitution under the Constitution Review Commission of Enquiry Instrument 2010 (C.I. 64).

The CRC was tasked to collate the views of Ghanaians on which provisions of the 1992 Constitution required amendment.

In executing its mandate, the CRC travelled all over the country to hold consultative fora with Ghanaians of all walks of life.

As a result, it also received numerous memoranda on what provisions of the Constitution needed to be amended and even how the CRC should conduct its affairs.

In addition, it also engaged the services of experts to review the Constitution and make recommendations for reforms.

Presentation of report

The CRC worked for two years, and after analysing all the submissions, as well as receiving expert opinions from both local and international consultants, it completed and presented its report to the Government on December 20, 2011.

After receipt of the report, as per Article 280 (3) of the Constitution, the Government, on June 15, 2012, gazetted a White Paper stating its position on the recommendations made by the commission.

After issuing the White Paper, the Government set up the Constitution Review Implementation Committee (CRIC) on October 2, 2012, to study further and engage with citizens and then implement the recommendations approved in the White Paper.

After 10 years of its presentation, the Commission’s recommendations are yet to be implemented.