Today, management of Alliance for Social Equity and Public Accountability (ASEPA) recieved an official response from the President of the Republic of Ghana signed by his Executive Secretary Nana Asante Bediatuo apparently dismissing a petition ASEPA sent to the President for the removal of Speaker of Parliament following his violation of procurement procedures in the construction of the “infamous” new chamber.
In a statement copied to broadcastergh.com signed by Mr. Mensah Thompson, Executive Director of ASEPA indicated that “First of all, we are grateful to the President for replying to this petition but we are also curious that an earlier petition we sent for the removal of the Chief Justice Her Lordship Justice Sophia Akufo in November 2018 has still not seen any response or action from the President.
Our curiosity is hatched on the fact that the Presidency was quick to write to us and dismiss this petition when it found a loophole in the law to do so and left the earlier petition unattended to because perhaps there is no loophole in the law to dismiss same.
Now let’s look at the basis for which this petition was dismissed by the Presidency.
In the second paragraph of the President’s response it says.. “the President has no powers under the Constitution and the laws of Ghana to remove the Speaker from Office”
The question then arises…
Who appoints the Speaker of Parliament?
If the President cannot cause the Speaker of Parliament to be removed or commence an action of removal against the Speaker of Parliament, then why should the President be allowed to nominate or appoint a Speaker of Parliament?
Again if the Constitution safeguards the strict separation of powers then why are Majority of Ministers appointed from Parliament?
The other issues we have is how the processes for the removal of the Speaker of Parliament is conspicuously missing from the 1992 Constitution and placed in the Standing Orders of Parliament( Under Order 107/108)
If the Constitution was very explicit on the grounds for which a Speaker can be removed, how then is it silent on the processes, especially when the same Constitution is very explicit on the removal of the Chief Justice and other Article 71 office holders.
Assuming the drafters of the law presumed that the removal of the Speaker was to be the sole prerogative of members of Parliament, then the questions that arises is, who does the members of Parliament represent?
So why are the people(members represent) left in the dark on this important procedural provisions.
So there are lapses in the law, the law is silent on the removal of the Speaker and we assumed that once the Speaker is an article 71 office holder, the procedural processes for the removal of Article 71 office holders would apply.
Now that we have discovered the procedural provisions of Order 107 and 108 of the Standing Orders of Parliament, we have commenced a lobbying process to get one-third of the signatories of members of Parliament to commence this action in accordance with the Standing Orders.
We want to exhaust all procedural provisions available for the removal of the Speaker of Parliament under the law before considering external legal actions against the Speaker of Parliament for violating the Public Procurement Laws of Ghana and for abusing his office as advised by our lawyers.
We therefore entreat the good people of Ghana to bear with us as we poised on getting to the buttom of this new chamber saga and so to prove our claim of a possible violation of the laws of Ghana by the Speaker of Parliament.
Parliamentary makes the laws and we are all bound by them, what then happens when the people who makes the laws for us , break their own laws, are they supposed to get away with it?
Definitely not and that’s why we believe that a national interest action should be pursued on this matter”.
Executive Director ASEPA
Source :broadcastergh.com /Ayisah Foster