A private citizen and TV Host, Isaac Wilberforce Mensah, has filed a suit at the Supreme Court to seek interpretations into the extent of powers of the Auditor-General.
This comes on the back of the seeming impasse between the Auditor-General, Daniel Domelevo and the Chairman of the Audit Service Board, Professor Edward Dua Agyeman.
Mr. Domelevo had accused Prof Agyeman of “unlawful interference” of his mandate; a claim the board chair rejected.
Wilberforce who is also a private legal practitioner in his writ is seeking an interpretation that although Article 187  of the 1992 Constitution makes the Auditor-General immune to control from anybody, he wants a declaration that this power “does not include the appointment of employees.”
Wilberforce further wants an emphatic declaration that appointments of staff for the Audit Service apart from the Auditor-General, is a “sole and exclusive preserve of the Audit Service Board” as enshrined in Article 189, 297 of the 1992 Constitution as well as section, 2, 3, 4 of the Audit service Act, 2000 (Act 584).
Mr. Wilberforce, Co-host of Breakfast Daily on Citi TV, also wants the Justices of the Supreme Court to uphold that the appointment of the staff by the Audit Service Board also includes the “power to make or supervise the posting of persons so appointed.”
Again, he wants the Supreme Court to declare that “the decision by the Auditor-General and his subsequent posting of officers and other employees in senior management positions in the Audit Service without reference or recourse to the approval of the Audit Service Board is a breach of” the appropriate laws.
“A declaration that the deliberate refusal or neglect of the Auditor-General to attend board meetings of the Audit Service Board with the view to rendering decisions taken at such meetings invalid is wrongful; and that his deliberate absence from board meetings without justifiable excuse does not invalidate decisions taken at such board meetings,” Wilberforce added as part of his reliefs.
He further wants “A consequential declaration that in the absence of the Auditor-General for any just cause, the person acting as the Auditor-General for any just cause, the person acting as the Auditor-General for the time being is clothed with the authority to attend meetings of the Audit Service Board with full powers of the Auditor-General.”
Wilberforce has joined the Audit Service Board and the Attorney- General and the Minister of Justice to the case at the Supreme Court.
The legal practitioner in a Citi News interview said his reason for going to court is only to find out the extent of powers of the Auditor-General.
“I’m not fighting with anybody. I’m only seeking to know the extent of the powers of the Auditor-General. The audit service is a very important body in this country. If we want to fight corruption in the country, every Ghanaian must be interested in it. If he is overstepping his powers we need to know and if someone is interfering with his power we need to know,” Wilberforce said in a Citi News interview.
Gov’t investigates Auditor-General, Audit board chair impasse
An impasse between Auditor-General and the Board of his office, is currently being investigated by a committee set up by the president.
The Chairman of the Audit Service Board, Professor Edward Dua Agyeman, had denied allegations that he is interfering with the work of Auditor General, Daniel Yaw Domelevo.
The Auditor General in a letter to President Akufo-Addo asking for intervention in the matter, accused Professor Dua Agyeman of unlawfully interfering with, and violating his mandate.
In the letter dated 27th July 2018, Mr. Domelevo said “I wish to bring to your attention the unlawful interference and violations of my constitutional mandate by the Board Chairman- Prof Edward Dua Agyeman- and the Board of Ghana Audit Service and respectively request for your intervention.”
Professor Dua Agyeman however denied the allegations saying; “it is not that we do not want to work with him. He is insisting that he is not answerable to the Board and that whatever instructions we give he will not take.”
By: Godwin Akweiteh Allotey/citinewsroom.com/Ghana