A former Auditor-General, Daniel Domelevo says he is happy the Supreme Court has vindicated him by ruling that it was unconstitutional for the President to force him to proceed on leave in 2020, and appoint someone in an acting capacity while he was still in office.
Calling the ruling an early birthday present, he said on Top Story, that it will ensure that no sitting president breaches the constitution in that manner again.
“This ruling makes me feel good that even though the presidency made it clear that I don’t appreciate the issue because I am not a lawyer, here is the case the Supreme Court is upholding my position,” Mr Domelevo said.
He told the host that “from my point of view, I scanned the constitution and didn’t see any such position that at any point in time when the President is not happy with you, he should appoint an acting Auditor- general, so I thought it was not the right thing. Now, those in whose mouths it lies to interpret the Constitution have spoken and I can only thank God. It comes as a very big birthday present to me, you know tomorrow [Thursday, June 1st] is my birthday” he said in ecstasy.
Mr. Domelevo, born on June 1st, 1961, turns 62 on Thursday.
On Wednesday, May 31, 2023, the Supreme Court in a unanimous decision declared as unconstitutional the directive from the presidency that forced Mr Domelevo to proceed on leave.
The court also declared as unconstitutional the president’s appointment of an acting Auditor General while there was a substantive Auditor-General as equally unconstitutional.
This was after nine civil society groups sued the Attorney General after the presidency in July 2020 asked the then Auditor-General to proceed on leave.
When Mr Domelevo pointed this out as unlawful, his leave was further extended from 123 days to 167 effective July 1, 2020.
The CSOs included the Centre for Democratic Development (CDD-Ghana), Ghana Integrity Initiative, (GII), Citizen Movement Ghana, Africa Center for Energy Policy (ACEP), and Parliamentary Network Africa.
They contended that the directives were unlawful since the President does not have the power to exercise such disciplinary control over independent bodies.
The court upheld their stance but they opted not to issue any other orders including stopping Mr Domelevo from proceeding on leave since he has since retired.
Meanwhile, although many may have argued that the ruling was delayed, Mr Domelevo says “it is better late than never”, adding that this “sets the rule clear for us going forward.”
He explained that future presidents as a result will not abuse their powers or force leave on any independent officeholder.
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