The question of legal representation for Auditor-General, Daniel Yao Domelevo became contentious when a case filed against his official capacity by Isaac Wilberforce Mensah was called at the Supreme Court today, July 29, 2020.
Mr. Mensah is questioning the independence of the Auditor-General in relation to the limitation on his administrative actions.
The suit was filed against the Auditor-General, the Audit Service Board and the Attorney-General.
Though Mr. Domelevo announced Kizito Beyou and Kofi Bentil as his lawyers on record, a Deputy Attorney General, Godfred Dame also announced himself as representing the Auditor-General and the Audit Service Board.
Also, both the substantive Auditor-General, Daniel Yao Domelevo, and the Acting Auditor-General, Johnson Akuamoa Asiedu were both present in court for the case today, July 29, 2020.
Though Mr. Beyuo said he had the instruction of the Office of Auditor-General to represent the Office in the matter, Mr. Dame maintained it laid within the mandate of the Attorney General’s Department to represent all public officials in legal matters.
In the frustration of the court, Justice Dotse remarked that “the office of the Auditor-General is a very important office under the scheme of our dispensation and nobody should toy with it”.
Justice Nene Amegatcher, on the other hand, insisted that “the Auditor-General, through an office, has a human being in it”.
The court thus said it refused to be drawn into the conflict and directed the parties to go and resolve the issue by themselves.
The conflict resurfaced when the case involving the Auditor-General, Kroll and Associates, and Senior Minister, Yaw Osafo-Maafo was called.
The Court, at its last hearing, directed the Auditor-General to inspect documents relating to the performance of the $1m contract being the subject of contention.
Lawyers for Mr. Osafo-Maafo had hoped, these documents, classified as confidential for purposes of national security, would end the issue in dispute.
Mr. Domelevo was, however, directed to go on an accumulated leave and to hand over all official functions to Mr. Johnson Akuamoah Asiedu, just before the inspection took place.
In court on Monday, lawyers for Mr. Domelevo argued that the Acting Auditor-General should be joined to the case to respond to the issue of the inspection of the documents since Mr. Domelevo, though substantive, was not active in Court at the time of the inspection of the documents.
Again the Court said it did not want to be drawn into the conflict at the Audit Service.
On the substantive issue, however, the Audit Service says it is satisfied with the documents inspected as reflective of the work done by Kroll and Associates.
The Court consequently struck out the reference by the trial High Court to it since it has become moot following the inspection of the document by the Auditor-General’s office.
Challenge of accumulated leave
The Supreme Court is also set to hear a suit challenging President Akufo-Addo’s decision to send the Auditor on accumulated leave.
The suit filed by US-based Ghanaian Professor of Accounting, Stephen Kwaku Asare, had the substantive Auditor-General, Daniel Yao Domelovo and the Acting Auditor-General, Johnson Akuamoah Asiedu joined in as defendants.
He had also asked the Court to place an injunction on the executive order.
The Court, however, ruled that “there was absolutely no legal basis for the Substantive and Acting Auditors-General to be joined to the suit”.
It also struck out the injunction application as withdrawn.