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24-Jul-2009  
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The Chief Executive of the erstwhile [email protected] Secretariat, Dr Charles Yves Wereko-Brobby, a.k.a Tarzan, has challenged the setting up of a Commission of Enquiry to investigate alleged irregularities at the Secretariat. Counsel for Dr. Wereko-Brobby, Mr. Akoto Ampaw raised the objection when he and his client appeared before the Commission yesterday.

According to him, the findings of the Commission could not be substituted for the Auditor General’s report, which is currently before Parliament. In a letter written to the Chairman of the Commission, dated July 22, 2009, Mr. Ampaw indicated that the finances of the [email protected] celebrations had been audited by the Auditor General in accordance with Articles 187 (2) of the Constitution.

Article 187 (2) states “the public accounts of Ghana and of all public offices, including the courts, the central and local government administrations, of the Universities and public institutions of like nature, of any public corporation or other body or organization established by an Act of Parliament shall be audited and reported on by the Auditor General.” He was of the conviction that the accounts of the Secretariat falls under the supervision of the Auditor General, adding that Article 187(5) and (6) of the Constitution demands that the AG is to submit its report to Parliament and “Parliament shall debate the report of the AG and appoint where necessary, in public interest, a committee to deal with any matters arising from it, namely the Public Accounts Committee.”
“What is even more pertinent to our client’s concern, Article 187 (7) states in unambiguous terms that - ‘In the performance of his functions under the Constitution or any other law, the Auditor General shall not be subject to the direction or control of any person or authority,” he insisted.


Mr. Ampaw, who re-echoed his sentiments publicly before the Commission, queried the bearing of the Commission’s work on the constitutional mandate of the AG. He argued that their concerns were necessary constitutional matters that border on the fundamental principles of separation of powers, the rule of law and the supremacy of the Constitution. Mr. Akoto Ampaw again demanded the procedure by which the Commission would carry out its enquiry, adding that Article 281(2) requires the Rules of Court Committee.


He further requested from the Commission a formal notification of any allegations of improper use of public or other funds that the Commission is aware and intends to investigate. “This we believe will enable our client to fully assist the Commission in its work and also provide our client with reasonable opportunities and facilities to protect his integrity,” he emphasized. Regarding the issue of the existence of AG’s report on the accounts of the [email protected] celebrations, the Chairman of the Commission, Justice Isaac Duose, said he would not touch it, since it was before parliament.


Touching on the Rules of Procedure, the Chairman said the Commission would proceed as if it was a court of law, taking into consideration the rules of fair hearing. The three-member Commission has His Lordship; Mr. Justice Isaac Duose of the Court of Appeal as Chairman, with Mr. Osei Tutu Prempeh, Former Auditor-General and Mrs. Marietta Brew Appiah-Opong, a Legal Practitioner, as members. The Commission has Mrs. Barbara Tetteh-Charway and Mrs. Evelyn Keelson as Counsel/Secretaries.
Established by C.I. 61, by President Mills on June 1, 2009, under Article 278 Clause 1(a) of the Constitution, the Commission was inaugurated by His Excellency the Vice President, Mr. John Mahama on June 17th, 2009, and has 90 days within which to submit its report.


It has been tasked to inquire into, and report on allegations of improper use of public and of any other funds, inquire into the use by the Secretariat of any property, movable and unmovable, inquire into any other matter which appears to the Commission to be incidental to, or reasonably related to the Ghana @ 50 celebrations, which in the opinion of the Commission ought to be enquired into and make recommendations in respect of the findings of fact by the Commission.
 
 
Source: The Chronicle
 
 

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