Private legal practitioner, Stephen Kwaku Asare has questioned the justification given by the government for the directive ordering the Auditor-General, Daniel Yaw Domelevo to proceed on leave.
In his view, it is in the interest of President Akufo-Addo to protect the sanctity of the office of the Auditor-General as any signal which suggests an attempt to oust him from the office will have dire consequences on his government’s image.
President Akufo-Addo has asked the Auditor-General, Daniel Yaw Domelevo to take his accumulated annual leave of 123 working days, effective July 1, 2020.
A statement signed by the Director of Communications at the Presidency, Eugene Arhin, noted that the president’s directive is in accordance with sections 20 (1) and 31 of the Labour Act.
Reacting to this action taken by the presidency, the private legal practitioner noted that he cannot fathom the rationale behind the president’s decision hence describing it as very amusing on the part of the government.
To him, such action may make the government unpopular considering the obvious friction between the Auditor-General and the government.
“It is in the interest of the President to protect the independence of the Auditor-General. Any attempts to remove him from office, no matter how clever, will be seen as interference with his work and will irreparably tarnish the President’s record,” Professor Kwaku Azar wrote on his Facebook page.
He added that “I do not find the Mills’ precedent persuasive. Actually, I find it amusing. Nor do I find sections 20(1) or 31 of the Labour Act as a reasonable basis for forcing the AG to take his leave. Section 20(1) merely provides for a leave entitlement and section 31 merely voids any agreement to relinquish the entitlement.”
According to Prof. Azar, “there are several ongoing audits, including KROLL, MP backpay, etc. where one can reasonably say the AG is clashing with the executive. Under those circumstances, any attempts to remove the AG will offend the separation of powers, constitutionalism, and the growing of our institutions.”
Given this, he, therefore, called on the President to reconsider any thoughts of using this as an avenue to remove the Auditor General from office.
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