GHANA AND THE RULE OF LAW

"Political power works dangerously!" observed one Minister of God. I learnt since my Secondary School days that the constitution is the supreme law of the land and every other law must be consistent with it. I was also told it is my responsibility to uphold and defend the constitution of the Republic at all times.

Ghana has been acclaimed as the beacon of hope in African democracy. And the rule of law states all manner of persons should have equal treatment under the law. Contrary to that, I suspect fowl play in Ghana's legislature, whether in the Parliamentary Service or the Chamber of Parliament itself.

And so it happened. Following the recent ministerial reshuffle (26/01/12) I filed an allegation against the appointment of Hon. Alban Bagbin to the Ministry of Health for some "gargantuan crimes" he committed against the state whilst investigating a case in the health sector. When the relocation came to my knowledge, I petitioned the Appointments Committee of Parliament, in an e mail, through the Clerk of Parliament the next day.

As my state obligation to defend the constitution I acted according to Article 78 Clause 1 of Ghana's constitution which states "Ministers of State shall be appointed by the President with prior approval of Parliament….." It is worth noting that the Appointments Committee of Parliament conducts the vetting process in which a nominee is questioned among other things on his/her knowledge of the ministry, his /her vision and to answer allegations, if any, against the appointment to the high office. Under the current dispensation, it seems to follow that when there is a reshuffle ministers merely change ministries with only newly nominated ones going through the vetting process; the existing ones are spared the due process of vetting even though they obtain new appointments altogether. As to whether they take new oaths for the new offices I do not know. If Parliament through the Appointments Committee can work on the assumption that all is well, but it should not do so ones there is an allegation against any minister (designate) named for another ministry.

I made two submissions in that letter to Parliament for my protection under the law and the bringing to light the findings of the Alban Bagbin committee. I followed up with a reminder on Tuesday 14, 2012 when the vetting begun but have since not received any notification, and I guess the minister designate for health has not been summoned before the Appointments Committee. On Saturday I heard the law maker commission a semi-detached accommodation in the Central Region, after the plummeting of the much ululated STX. He was reported as the Minister of Health.

I have no knowledge whether it is the Clerk that has truncated my petition from being delivered or it is sheer negligence of the Appointments Committee. I want the youngest clerk of Parliament in Ghana's history to answer Ghanaians on this parliamentary disservice or the Appointments Committee to state its case clearly. I wonder if the President of the Republic can use some kind of veto on this matter.

Ghana Politics Today

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