Minority Leader, Haruna Iddrissu has said President Akufo-Addo perpetrated an illegality by asking the Deputy Upper West Regional Minister to act in the stead of the Minister, Sulemana Alhassan following his suspension.
The Minister was suspended by the President on Thursday evening for allegedly ordering the release of suspects who were arrested for the attack on the regional NADMO office and its Director.
Some youth believed to be associated with the Wa East constituency branch of the governing New Patriotic Party,NPP on Wednesday attacked the Regional NADMO boss.
The youth invaded the Regional office of NADMO making away with office equipment and some unspecified amount of cash on Wednesday evening.
A letter communicating the Minister’s suspension thus directed his Deputy, Amidu Ishaq to assume an acting role pending the outcome of investigations on the matter.
But the Minority Leader while he commended the President for cracking the whip on lawlessness, insisted that the directive asking the Deputy Regional Minister to act in the interim is illegal citing a supreme court ruling which he claims sets out clearly that Deputy Ministers cannot act in the absence of the substantive Minister.
“We welcome the swiftness of the President’s action against the Regional Minister for attempting to [frustrate efforts] at getting an end to the lawlessness in the country by the masquerading NPP youth in that region and other parts of the country. But the President himself is a respected legal practitioner and must do what is appropriate legally and constitutionally within the meaning of the Supreme Court ruling on the status of deputy Ministers. It is wrong in law and constitutionally for the deputy Minister to be asked to acting in the absence of the regional Minister.
“What the President should be doing is to get any other Regional Minister to step in while the investigation continues until he decides whether he is revoking the suspension or enhancing it with a revocation of his appointment. There is a Supreme Court judgement on the status of deputy Ministers and they cannot act in the absence of Ministers. The President must get a Minister, probably a Regional Minister within the decentralization regime to act in that role. I expect the President to act within the law and within the Constitution and within the ruling of the Supreme Court. What he has done is legally untenable and inappropriate.” Haruna Iddrisu told Accra-based Citi FM.