Constitution Review Commission Members Hold Maiden Meeting

The Constitution Review Commission has assured the public that its operations would be open and transparent in order to afford all Ghanaians the opportunity to contribute to the process. A statement issued in Accra by the Commission after its maiden meeting and signed by Professor Albert K. Fiadjoe, Chairman of the Commission, said "though the Commission is made up of persons from different backgrounds, it is mindful of the mandate given to it by the Constitutional Instrument as an independent body". It said the Commission would deploy the assistance of a corps of competent and professional experts to assist it to measure, evaluate and compare the Ghanaian experience in constitution-making with best comparative practices elsewhere. The statement said to achieve these objectives, the Commission would establish the strategies, ground rules and processes to govern its operations and be prepared to engage the public by the end of January, 2010. "The Commission assures the good people of Ghana that it does not represent any particular interest group and will be independent, open, transparent and impartial in the execution of its mandate. It wishes to solicit the support of all Ghanaians to ensure that the exercise culminates in a sound Constitution which reflects the collective ethos of Ghanaians," it said. The statement said any member of the public who wished to present submissions and proposals might contact the Executive Secretary on the following telephone numbers and email address: +233-243-401349, +233-243-010364, +233-544-351109 and [email protected] President John Evans Atta Mills on Monday, January 11, inaugurated the nine-member Commission to ascertain from the people of Ghana, their views on the operation of the 1992 Fourth Republican Constitution, and in particular its strengths and weaknesses. The Commission is also to articulate the concerns of the people as regards the amendments that might be required for a comprehensive review and make recommendations to government for consideration and provide a draft Bill for possible amendments to the Constitution. It may co-opt the services of persons it considers suitable for the effective and efficient performance of its functions. The Commission would operate as a quasi-judicial body for 12 months and not more than 18 months, and is under the Chairmanship of Professor Albert K. Fiadjoe, Professor (Emeritus) of Public Law at the University of West Indies. The rest are Osabarimba Kwesi Atta II, Omanhen of Oguaa Traditional Area, Mr. Akenten Appiah-Menka, a Lawyer and and Industrialist; Mrs. Sabina Ofori-Boateng, Consultant to the Legislative Drafting Unit, Office of Parliament; The Very Reverend Professor Samuel Kwasi Adjepong, Principal of Methodist University College, Ghana, and Chairman of the African Peer Review Mechanism Governing Council. The others are: Naa Alhaji Iddirisu Abu, Kumbun-Naa Yiri II, Paramount Chief of Kumbungu Traditional Area, Dr Nicholas Amponsah, Senior Lecturer, Department of Political Science, University of Ghana; Mr. Gabriel Pwamang, a Legal Practitioner; and Mrs. Jean Mensa, Executive Director of the Institute of Economic Affairs (IEA). President Mills also appointed Dr Raymond A. Atuguba, a legal practitioner, as the Executive Secretary of the Commission. The establishment of the Commission is in redemption of a pledge by President Mills in his first sectional address to Parliament last year, that government would initiate a process for constitutional review to reflect the current demands of governance.