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Politics of Friday, 22 June 2012

Source: citifmonline

Indemnity Clause to be retained

The government recommendation of the Constitutional Review Commission (CRC) for the retention of the indemnity clauses in the 1992 Constitution has been accepted by the government.

Clause One of Section 34 of the 1992 Constitution states that: “No member of the Provisional National Defence Council, Provisional National Defence Council Secretary, or other appointees of the Provisional National Defence Council shall be held liable either jointly or severally, for any act or ommission during the administration of the Provisional National Defence Council.

Clause Two of Section 34 states: It is not lawful for any court or tribunal to entertain any action or take any decision or make any order or grant any remedy or relief in any proceedings instituted against the Government of Ghana whether before or after the coming into force of this Constitution or against any person or persons acting in concert or individually to assist or bring about the change in Government which took place on the twenty-fourth day of February, 1966, on the thirteenth day of January 1972, on the fourth day of June, 1979 and on the thirty first day of December, 1981 in respect of any act or omission relating to, or consequent upon (a) the overthrow of the government in power before the formation of the National Liberation Council, the National Redemption Council, the Supreme Military Council, the Armed Forces Revolutionary Council and the Provisional National Defence Council; or (b) the suspension or abrogation of the Constitutions of 1960, 1969 and 1979; or (c) the establishment of the National Liberation Council, the National Redemption Council, the Supreme Military Council which took office on the ninth day of October, 1975, the Supreme Military Council established on the fifth day of July 1978, the Armed Forces Revolutionary Council, or the Provisional National Defence Council; or (d) the establishment of this Constitution.

The 34(3) states: For the avoidance of doubt, it is declared that no executive, legislative or judicial action taken or purported to have been taken by the Provisional National Defence Council or the Armed Forces Revolutionary Council or a member of the Provisional National Defence Council or the Armed Forces Revolutionary Council or by any person appointed by the Provisional National Defence Council or the Armed Forces Revolutionary Council in the name of either the Provisional National Defence Council or the Armed Forces Revolutionary Council shall be questioned in any proceedings whatsoever and, accordingly, it shall not be lawful for any court or other tribunal to make any order or grant any remedy or relief in respect of any such act.

The 34(4): The provision of subsection (3) of this section shall have effect notwithstanding that any such action as is referred to in that subsection was not taken in accordance with any procedure by law.

Section 34 (5) states: It is not lawful for any court or tribunal to entertain an action instituted in respect of an act or omission against a person acting or omitting to act, on the instructions or authority of the Provisional National Defence Council or the Armed Forces Revolutionary Council or a member of the Provisional National Defence Council or the Armed Forces Revolutionary Council and alleged to be in contravention of any law, whether substantive or procedural, in existence before or during the administration of the Provisional National Defence Council or the Armed Forces Revolutionary Council.

A government White Paper on the report of the CRC also accepted the recommendation that the Directive Principles of State Policy should be amended to include a provision that enjoins the government to take measures to deal with the rising tide of politicisation of every aspect of national life and ethnicity within the Ghanaian polity.

On the issue of public lands, the White Paper said the government accepted the advice to review the Constitution to ensure that where and when the government failed to use compulsorily acquired land for the original or comparable purposes of the acquisition, the land should be returned to the original owners, subject to the return of any compensation that was given.**

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