A professor at the Faculty of Law of the University of Ghana, Kofi Kumado, has questioned the legality of the government’s decision to dissolve some boards of public corporations and withdraw some government nominees before the expiry of their terms.

He also wondered whether the government or the President had the right to dissolve boards or withdraw government nominees without any legal justification.

“Is the change in the persons who constitute the government, by itself alone, sufficient legal basis for the dissolution or withdrawal of the terms if the members of the boards or the nominees have not expired?” he asked in a letter to the Daily Graphic.

According to him the issue was no “laughing matter”, since Ghanaians had, since January 7, 1993, pledged to put themselves under the rule of law, have a government of laws and put behind them a government of men and women.

Professor Kumado referred to a comment by a former chairman of the Ghana Commercial Bank (GCB), Mr K. G. Osei-Bonsu, at the bank’s annual general meeting that he and a number of his colleague directors were retiring because of the announcement by the government and noted that the country’s boards and public corporations had been established by statutes.

He said the GCB had been incorporated under the Companies Code, with its own regulations, with the instrument prescribing the qualifications for directorship.

The instruments, he said, “also prescribed when vacancies occur. The directors have fixed terms under the laws, with or without renewal options, and have appointing authorities”.

He argued that it was stated nowhere in the instruments that directors’ terms could be curtailed just because a new president had taken office, pointing out, “I have extended my research to cover articles 57, 58, 195 and 297 of the 1992 Constitution and drawn a blank.”

Prof. Kumado also expressed regret that the public pronouncement referred to seemed to be taking effect, with directors of boards and public corporations accepting that they had been removed from office, “though no just cause or legal justification has been given”.

He therefore, wondered how constitutionalism and the rule of law could take root and prevail “when we are still ready to succumb to government by the fiat of men and women”.

Source: Daily Graphic