8 November 2018

Ghana: Publish Justice Brobbey Commission On Creation of New Regions-Minority

The Minority in Parliament is asking the government to publish the report of the Justice Brobbey Commission of Enquiry on the creation of the proposed new regions.

At a press conference addressed in Parliament yesterday by the Minority Leader, Haruna Iddrisu, to draw the attention of the citizenry on government's "failure" to publish the report, the caucus said it was not against the creation of the regions but wants the recommendations of the commission made public.

"It has almost been five months since the commission submitted to government, its report containing recommendations to create new regions. Its contents are, however, shrouded in so much secrecy that even Parliament, as a co-equal branch of government, has been officially denied access to it.

"Meanwhile, the constitutional instrument for the conduct of the referendum, leading to the creation of the proposed regions, has been laid before Parliament to mature in 21 sitting days.

"In short, Parliament is being asked to conduct a surgical operation in the dark, having no idea whatsoever whether the constitutional instrument conforms in material respects to the recommendations of the Justice Brobbey Commission Report," Haruna Iddrisu said.

President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo in October 2017, constituted the nine-member Commission, Chaired by Justice Alan Brobbey, a retired Supreme Court Judge, in line with Article 5 of the 1992 Constitution to enquire into the creation of new regions and make recommendations to that effect.

After months of consultations with stakeholders in the to-be-affected areas, the commission in its report recommended the creation of six new regions to meet the demands of the people clamouring for it.

The proposed regions are to be carved from the Western, Brong -Ahafo, Northern and Volta Regions to be known as Oti, Ahafo, Brong East, Western North, North East and Savanna Regions.

A referendum, in accordance with Article 5(4) of 1992 Constitution, has, however, been schedule for December 27, 2018, for 'yes' or 'no' votes but concerns have been raised about whether the affected areas alone casts the ballot or the entire region to be demarcated.

Mr Iddrisu said making the report public was not only in the interest of good governance openness, truthfulness and transparency, but also to enable the citizens, through their representatives verify that the constitutional instrument in the House reflected the contents of the commission's report.

"It is the right thing to do, and we urge President Akufo-Addo to keep faith with his promise for a transparent and accountable governance. Making the Justice Brobbey Commission Report public will be an important benchmark on which similar matters will be modeled in future," he stated.

Demanding full closure of the report in the interest of the public, the minority leader said the document "should not be the exclusive preserve of a few.

"It must be opened up to the entire nation to enable us gain insight into the thinking of the commission and the constitutionality of its recommendations, and to determine whether the constitutional instrument laid in Parliament truly reflects the recommendations of the commission," he added.

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