Ghana: OccupyGhana Lauds Constitutional Independence of Auditor-General

13 December 2019

OccupyGhana, civic society group has commended the constitutional independence the Auditor-General, Daniel Yao Domelevo is using to save the country from dissipation of its resources.

The group in a release Thursday said it had monitored with interest the Auditor-General disallowing a $1 million payment and surcharging Yaw Osafo Maafo, the Senior Minister with the amount.

Subsequently, the minister issued a statement in which he stated his disagreement with the disallowance and surcharge as well as his intention to challenge them in court.

Hailing the developments as one worth celebrating, OccupyGhana noted that "This is probably the first time in the Fourth Republic (and possibly in Ghana's political history) that an Auditor-General has dared to issue a disallowance and then surcharge a minister, and no less a minister than the Senior Minister."

The group stated that the current constitutional dispensation that the country was blessed with, has given the Auditor-General the audacity to do as he has been constitutionally mandated without "mysteriously disappearing."

"He cannot be shut up. He cannot be arrested or lose his job for doing his work. Rather, people he surcharges (whoever they are) have no option but to work under the principles of constitutionalism and the rule of law and to challenge the Auditor-General in court," OccupyGhana said.

"We do not think that these momentous developments in our history ought to pass without comment.

"When in November 2014, OccupyGhana began the fight to compel the Auditor-General to exercise the constitutionally-mandated powers of Disallowance and Surcharge, our biggest obstacle was the several naysayers who were convinced that we had no case and would lose.

But we were confident because our cause was just and our course was right. We were fortified in our simple argument: that where the Constitution donates power and prescribes the circumstances under which the power is to be exercised, it is a breach of the Constitution if that power is never exercised."

The group said it believed that in the final analysis, if the Auditor-General erred in the Disallowance and Surcharge against the Senior Minister, the court will say so. However, if he was right, the court will also say so and hold the Senior Minister liable to pay the money paid under the transaction to the state.

That is democracy. That is constitutionalism. That is the rule of law. Ultimately, when the story of Ghana is told, it ought to end with three words: "... and Ghana won."

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