The Auditor-General, Daniel Domelevo, returns to work on Wednesday, March 3, 2021, after 167 days of ‘accumulated leave’ imposed by President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo.
Some major events before and during Auditor General Domelevo’s forced leave:
A Former Senior Minister, Yaw Osafo-Maafo, procured Kroll judgment.
Chronology of events:
Office of the Auditor General in its report of Dec 2018 on Ministries, Departments and Agencies indicated that ‘during our review of the contract with Kroll Associates, we noted that though there was no evidence of work done, the Finance Ministry in 2018 paid $1m to the company’.
The Auditor General (‘AuG’), therefore, surcharges Senior Minister Osafo-Maafo and four (4) other officials of the Finance Ministry over the payment of $1m to Kroll Associates, allegedly, for consultancy services.
The Senior Minister Osafo-Maafo and 4 others challenge the AuG’s surcharge at the High Court, asking the decision be set aside, as they are entitled by law to do.
Documents relating to the Kroll contract and matters relating to the execution of the contract are argued by lawyers of the Senior Minister to be matters of national security which warrants private inspection by the AuG. Case is referred by HC Justice Afia Serwaa Asare Botwe to the Supreme Court, pursuant to Article 135(1), as the SC has exclusive jurisdiction in such matters.
On June 29: President directs and compels AuG to go on 167 days of ‘accumulated’ leave, and appoints an officer of the Audit Service, Johnson Akuamoah Asiedu, to act as AuG while the substantive AuG is on leave.
On 2nd July: acting AuG inspects documents relating to Kroll contract and writes that ‘we are satisfied with the process and therefore propose lawyers inform the Supreme Court accordingly to enable the parties go back to the High Court to continue with the proceedings in that court’.
Oct 28: High Court rules to set aside the Auditor General’s findings and surcharge made against the Senior Minister Osafo-Maafo and 4 others. (See judgment)
All the while, two (2) suits filed by Prof Kwaku Asare [on July 12] and nine (9) Civil Society Organisations ‘CSOs’ (CDD-Ghana lead plaintiff) [on Oct 27] at the Supreme Court, challenging the constitutionality of the President’s directive to the Auditor General to proceed on leave, and the appointment of an acting Auditor General is yet to be heard by the court.
Due to this, some have suggested that the Supreme Court of today is ‘the weakest link in our democracy’.
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