General News of Tuesday, 8 August 2017
Five assembly members, including the Presiding Member of the La Nkwantanang–Madina Municipal Assembly (LANMMA), have filed a suit at the Accra High Court seeking for the removal of the Municipal Chief Executive (MCE).
Joined to the suit as defendants are the MCE, Ms Jennifer Dede Afagbedzi, LANMMA, the Minister of Local Government and Rural Development and the Attorney-General (A-G).
In its writ, the plaintiffs argued that the meeting during which Ms Afagbedzi was confirmed was not convened and presided over by the Presiding Member, Alhaji Ibrahim Falia, as prescribed by Article 244 of the 1992 Constitution.
Article 244 clause 3 (a) states: “The Presiding Member shall preside over the meetings of the assembly.’’
The said meeting, they argued, also violated the Local Government Act and the standing orders of the assembly and was, therefore, illegal.
Based on their claim of illegality, the five assembly members are seeking an order from the court to restrain Ms Afagbedzi from holding herself as the MCE of LANMMA.
They further want an order of certiorari quashing the meeting that led to the “unlawful confirmation” of Ms Afagbedzi.
Also, the plaintiffs are seeking a declaration that the convening of the meeting that led to the confirmation “by some other person rather than the Presiding Member is a violation of the laws of Ghana and, therefore, unlawful, null and void’’.
As part of the suit, the plaintiffs have also filed an application for interlocutory injunction seeking to restrain Ms Afagbedzi from holding herself as the MCE pending the final determination of the case.
Lawyers for the plaintiffs will move the motion for interlocutory injunction on August 15, 2017.
It is the case of the five assembly members that on July 12, 2017, the Presiding Member in line with his duties convened a meeting of the 13 assembly members for the confirmation of Ms Afagbezdi, who was President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo’s nominee for MCE.
At the said meeting, they claimed, Ms Afagbedzi secured eight out of the 13 votes, falling short of the required two-thirds majority prescribed by law.
In view of this, the plaintiffs said the Presiding Member brought the meeting to a close and the assembly members dispersed.
The five assembly members, however, aver that on the same day, some individuals claiming to be acting on instructions of the Minister of Local Government and Rural Development, “reconvened and purported to hold another meeting to confirm Ms Afagbedzi.”
“The said meeting was not convened and chaired by the Presiding Member as prescribed by law,’’ the plaintiffs stated in their statement of claims.
Upon hearing about the meeting, the plaintiffs said they rushed to the meeting, but the Presiding Member was “prevented from chairing the meeting.’’
At the meeting itself the five assembly members claimed Ms Afagbezi had nine votes “amid protests from the assembly members present.’’