A law lecturer says the release of a White Paper on the Justice Dzamefe Commission report, prior to publishing the report itself is unconstitutional.
Yaw Donkor said on Joy FM and Multi TV’s Newsfile news analysis programme on Saturday that Article 23 of Ghana’s Constitution, which proscribes the setting up of Commissions of Enquiries and related matters, has been breached.
“The whole exercise of setting up a Commission Enquiry is under Chapter 23 [of the Constitution], and when you read Article 280 it states: ‘The President shall, subject to clause four of this article cause to be published the report of a Commission of Inquiry together with the White Paper on it within six months after the date of the submission of the report by the commission’. So in my own limited understanding of the law, you cannot publish a White Paper without a publication of the report itself”, he stressed.
The law lecturer proceeded to quote clause 4 of Article 23 noting that if for some reason the report of the Commission cannot be published, the President should have issued a statement to that effect giving clear reasons.
Attorney General Marietta Appiah-Oppong earlier this week presented a White Paper on the Justice Senyo Dzamefe Commission report that sought to investigate Ghana’s poor showing at the World Cup tournament in Brazil last year.
The White Paper revealed that the Ghana Football Association and its President, Kwesi Nyantakyi, will face a forensic audit for financial dealings in matches played by the Black Stars in the lead up to the 2014 FIFA tournament in Brazil.
The forensic audit, according to the White Paper, would look into claims of losses totaling $1,002,000 during the matches involving Ghana and Cape Verde, Ghana and Nigeria, and Ghana and Togo.
The probe would also look into claims by the football association that some $350,000 received from the Japan friendly game was used to offset the deficit incurred in the Ghana – Cape Verde qualifying match for the World Cup.
Kwesi Nyantakyi’s finances will also be looked into to ascertain how he used $200,000 which was paid to him by the state towards a friendly match while the Black Stars were preparing for the World Cup.
Yaw Donkor said it is not for nothing that the framers of the constitution prescribed that the White Paper be published with the report of any commission of inquiry.
“Because it concerns a possibility where the White Paper may be published without the report itself and then anybody can do whatever they please in the White Paper including misquoting the report [of the commission],” he explained.
However, Mahama Ayariga, Science and Technology Minister, who was also on the discussion programme, informed the show that the report has been gazetted together with the White Paper.
Mr. Ayariga maintained that the Commission’s report is available for purchase at Assembly Press, the state publisher.
But Abdul Malik Kwaku Baako Jnr refuted Mr Ayariga’s claims insisting that as at yesterday the Assembly Press had no copies of the report.
“Look let’s stop this. Let’s stop playing this game. We are being told that the thing [report] is bulky; only three copies were made available by the Commission; they didn’t make available an electronic version…so there is certainly a problem with how this presentation was done”, Kwaku Baako said on the show.
Yaw Donkor further stated that the work of the Justice Senyo Dzamefe-chaired commission of inquiry is not complete.
“The basic duty of a commission of inquiry is to find or establish facts as I understand it”, he said.
According to him, per details of the White Paper, the Commission makes the recommendation that if Travel Matters, a transportation companies contracted by the GFA, had not been paid some monies owed it, then payment should be paid.
“Was it not the duty of the Commission to establish as a fact that Travel Matters has been paid or not been paid any monies”, he said.
According to him, the Commission’s recommendation for further investigation into the Brazil 2014 fiasco – after it has completed its work – defeats the purpose for which it was set up.
In Mr Donkor’s view, the setting up of the Commission of Inquiry has proved to be unnecessary.
Listen to him on audio below.
Story by Ghana | Myjoyonline.com | George Nyavor | [email protected]
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