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Doe Adjaho Hot Again For Refusing To Swear Presidential Oath   
 
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19-Jan-2016  
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Law Professor, Kweku Asare has introduced a new twist in the debate over Speaker of Parliament, Mr. Edward Doe Adjaho’s refusal to swear to the Presidential oath on November 5th and 7th 2014 when both the President and his Vice were out of the country on official duties.

Referring to a Supreme Court ruling on the matter, which held that the Speaker’s refusal to swear to the oath of President on the aforementioned dates contravened Articles 60(11)-(12) of the Constitution and violated the Presidential oath of office, Dr Asare in a letter, pointed out to the Speaker   to submit himself to the laws of the Republic of Ghana and suffer the penalty for the violation.

Article 60(11)-(12) of the Constitution states:  Where the President and the Vice-President are both unable to perform the functions of the President, the Speaker of Parliament shall perform those functions until the President or the Vice-President is able to perform those functions or a new President assumes office, as the case may be. (12) The Speaker shall, before commencing to perform the functions of the President under clause (11) of this article, take and subscribe the oath set out in relation to the office of President.

However, Mr. Doe Adjaho, on two occasions declined to be sworn-in to act in the capacity of the President, explaining to the House that he had in consultation with the Chief Justice agreed that since he took the same oath on October 19, 2013 when the President and his vice were out of the country, there was no need for him to do so again.

But Professor Asare argues that because framers of the Constitution were keenly aware that the issue would attract such controversies and suggestions if its provisions could be violated without a penalty, the stated in Article 69(1)(a) that “the President shall be removed from office if he is found to have acted in willful violation of the oath of allegiance and the presidential oath set out in the Second Schedule to, or in willful violation of any other provision of this Constitution.”

“In the case of a Speaker, acting as President under Article 60(11)-(12), to effectuate your removal from office. It is Parliament’s duty to effect this removal or failing to do so the vacation can be effected via the High Court via Article 99(1).” He submitted.

In light of the foregoing, Professor Asare   said “I believe you can no longer hold the office of the Speaker of Parliament and I urge you to resign your office and publicly apologize for violating the Presidential oath of office. It gives me no pleasure and I am actually pained to make this request but my commitment to upholding the Constitution gives me no choice”.

 
Read Below Professor Kweku Asare’s Letter

Dear Rt. Hon. Speaker Adjaho:

Re: Implications of the Supreme Court’s Declaration that You have Violated the

1. I draw your attention to the recent Supreme Court ruling in Atta-Mensah and Asare v Attorney General and the Rt. Hon. Edward Doe Adjaho (consolidated writs JI/4/2015 and JI/20/2015). In this case, a 9-member panel of the Supreme Court unanimously held that your refusal to swear to the oath of President on November 5th and 7th 2014 contravened Articles 60(11)-(12) of the Constitution and violated the Presidential oath of office.

2. THE PRESIDENTIAL OATH that you violated on the aforementioned dates requires that that you submit yourself to the laws of the Republic of Ghana and suffer the penalty for the violation (see Second Schedule of the Constitution, 1992, Presidential Oath of Office; “I further (solemnly swear) (solemnly affirm) that should I at any time break this oath of office I shall submit myself to the laws of the Republic of Ghana and suffer the penalty for it.”)

3. Those who framed the Constitution were keenly aware that it would atrophy into a Compendium of suggestions if its provisions could be violated without a penalty. So too were they aware that the Presidential Oath of Office will degenerate into a meaningless ritual if it can be violated without consequences. This is why Article 69(1)(a) provides that “the President shall be removed from office if he is found to have acted in willful violation of the oath of allegiance and the presidential oath set out in the Second Schedule to, or in willful violation of any other provision of this Constitution.”

4. It goes without saying that Article 69(1)(a) should be read in pari materia with Article 95(2)(c-d) in the case of a Speaker, acting as President under Article 60(11)-(12), to effectuate your removal from office. It is Parliament’s duty to effect this removal or failing to do so the vacation can be effected via the High Court via Article 99(1).

5. I also wish to draw your attention to the Oath Act. Specifically, Subsection 4(1) provides that “A person who refuses to take the oath or make the affirmation required by law in respect of the appointment to an office shall, (a) if that person has already entered on that office, be deemed to have vacated that office from the date of refusal; and (b) if that person has not already entered on that office, be disqualified from so doing.” Your refusal totake the oath violates the Oath Act.

As such, you never acted as President on November 5th and 7th as required by the Constitution (this, of course, is another serious Constitutional tort that disqualifies you from holding the office of the Speaker). Consequently, your name should be expunged from any record that designates you as having served as Acting Constitution and the Presidential Oath of Office President or performing the functions of the President on the dates aforementioned. It should also be clear from the Subsection 4(1) of the Oath Act that your refusal to take the Presidential oath disqualifies you from further entering that office, which logically implies that you cannot remain Speaker since you are disqualified from performing the functions of President.

6. It is also my belief that your violation of the Constitution and the Oath of Office constitutes “high crime” under the Constitution. However, I believe the Supreme

Court is correct in concluding that the “mode for the initiation of criminal proceedings is at the instance of the Attorney-General and not a private person.” I, thus, intend to draw the Attorney General’s attention to the Supreme Court judgment. It will, of course, be her discretion to decide on how to proceed, taking into account her solemn oath to defend and preserve the Constitution.

 

7. In light of the foregoing, I believe you can no longer hold the office of the Speaker of Parliament and I urge you to resign your office and publicly apologize for violating the Presidential oath of office. It gives me no pleasure and I am actually pained to make this request but my commitment to upholding the Constitution gives me no choice.

 

Sincerely Yours,

 

S. Kwaku Asare

 

cc:

 

His Excellency, President John Mahama

 

Her Ladyship, Chief Justice Georgina Wood

 

First Deputy Speaker, Hon. Ebo Barton Oduro

 

Second Deputy Speaker, Hon. Joseph Ghartey

 

Majority Leader, Hon. Alban S. K. Bagbin

 

Minority Leader, Hon. Osei Kyei Mensah Bonsu

 

Parliamentary Service Board

 

Public Affair Directorate, Parliament

 

Attorney General
 
 
Source: New Crusading Guide
 
 

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