General News of Monday, 23 January 2017
The Local Government Minister-designate says she did not err when she signed a letter relieving at least 216 Metropolitan, Municipal and District Chief Executives (MMDCEs) from their post.
Hajia Alima Mahama says she wrote the letter under the direction of President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo after he was sworn in as President.
“In a letter dated January 9, the President wrote to me that I take charge of affairs at the Ministry. He directed that by virtue of the powers vested in him he was relieving MMDCEs of their position],” he said.
The Member of Parliament (MP) for Gambaga/Nalerigu Constituency made these remarks when she took her turn before Parliament’s Appointments Committee Monday.
Hajia Mahama received backlash for signing a letter in which MMDCEs appointed by the outgone National Democratic Congress (NDC) government were across the country.
In the letter dated January 12, she directed the MMDCEs to hand-over documents to their Coordinating Directors (MMDCDs).
“By virtue of article 243 (3) (b) of the Constitution of the Republic, H.E the President of the Republic has revoked the appointment of all MMDCEs with immediate effect,” the letter read.
Some NDC functionaries were displeased because Hajia Mahama signed the letter as a representative of the President and not a substantive minister. They claimed the act constituted illegality especially when the MP was yet to be approved by Parliament.
Member of NDC Legal Committee, Abraham Amaliba said the 1992 Constitution has no position such as Representative of the President at Local Government.
“Until she goes through the vetting process, I do not think that she can be performing the role. She is not a minister yet and so does not have the office of authority,” he disclosed on The Pulse programme on JOYNEWS channel on MultiTV on January 13.
But citing portions of the 1992 Constitution, Hajia Mahama said her action was in consonance with the dictates of the supreme law of Ghana.
The Constitution in Article 58 (1) (3) reads;
(1)The executive authority of Ghana shall vest in the President and shall be exercised in accordance with the provisions of this Constitution.
(3)Subject to the provisions of this Constitution, the functions conferred on the President by clause (1) of this article may be exercised by him either directly or through officers subordinate to him.
Holding an eye contact with Chairman of the Appointments Committee, Joe Osei Owusu, the legislator disclosed that she authored the letter as a subordinate of the President.