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General News of Tuesday, 30 June 2020

Source: Daily Mail

Removal of Auditor-General Domelevo illegal – Stranek-Africa


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President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo’s directive to the Auditor-General Daniel Yaw Domelevo to proceed on leave is illegal, according to Stranek-Africa.

On Monday, June 29, 2020, the presidency announced that Mr. Domelevo will be taking his 123 days annual accumulated leave, effective July 1.

Stranek described it as “witch-hunting.”

“The purported direction from the President to the Auditor-General to proceed on an accumulated leave of over 123 days is illegal and contrary to the express provision of the Labour Act, 651 which H.E Akufo-Addo sought to rely on. Under our current laws, a person cannot forgo his/her annual leave and any agreement to even forgo the leave, is void. In that regard, the law mandates a person to take the annual leave as and when it is due within each calendar year.

“This is a clear case of witch-hunting on the Auditor-General who has stood up against corruption and corruption related transactions engaged by some top Government officials in this administration. This is the only Auditor General who is on record to have retrieved several millions of Taxpayers monies to the state through surcharges without fear or favour,” it said in a statement.

Below is Stranek-Africa’s full statement:

PRESIDENT AKUFO-ADDO ILLEGALLY REMOVED THE AUDITOR-GENERAL FROM OFFICE – STRANEK-AFRICA

On the 29th day of June, 2020 the President of the Republic of Ghana per a publication issued and signed by his Director of Communications, Mr. Eugene Arhin, sought to compel the Auditor-General of Ghana, to take or proceed on what the President described as his “accumulated annual leave”.

In the said publication, the President premised his decision on sections 20(1) and 31 of the Labour Act, 2003 (Act 651) and also on a precedent it was established by the late President John Atta-Mills. The attempt by the President to seek to justify his action based on a so-called precedent is unfortunate and troubling since the President is seen to be an astute lawyer and has also surrounded himself with lawyers who should know better.

The purported direction from the President to the Auditor-General to proceed on an accumulated leave of over 123 days is illegal and contrary to the express provision of the Labour Act, 651 which H.E Akufo-Addo sought to rely on. Under our current laws, a person cannot forgo his/her annual leave and any agreement to even forgo the leave, is void. In that regard, the law mandates a person to take the annual leave as and when it is due within each calendar year.

It is, therefore, worrying for STRANEK-Africa that, the President will purport to compound the leave periods from previous years and seek to direct the Auditor-General to take same within a particular calendar year. Not having taken those leaves within their respective calendar years means they have been forfeited and the President cannot confer same on the Auditor-General. Under the current legal framework governing labour relations, it is clear that, annual leave as the name suggests, is required to be taken within each calendar year.

Per the law, annual leave must not be less than 15 days. The said section 20 of Act 651 provides that; “Sub-Part I—Annual Leave with Pay Section 20 —Leave Entitlement” (1) In any undertaking every worker is entitled to not less than fifteen working days leave with full pay in any calendar year of continuous service. (2) The Act proceeds to give directions on the procedure to be followed by the employer (in this case the President) before a person can be asked to take the annual leave for each calendar year.

Per section 27 of Act 651, the President was required to give the Auditor-General not less than 30 days notice before taking the annual leave for the year. In this case, the President has not cited any reasons that make it practically impossible for the Auditor-General to be given the 30 days notice required by law. It is interestingly disturbing that the President, who claims to be enforcing the law, will himself engage in statutory breaches of the very Act he relies upon.

Mr. Domelevo has been a subject of attack from this Government for a very long time since he directed his audit functions at the public officials of this government. It, therefore, comes as no surprise at all for the President to remove the Auditor-General from office under the guise of accumulated annual leave.

This is a clear case of witch-hunting on the Auditor-General who has stood up against corruption and corruption-related transactions engaged by some top Government officials in this administration. This is the only Auditor General who is on record to have retrieved several millions of Taxpayers monies to the state through surcharges without fear or favour.

Once again, this government has shown that it cannot contain, accept or condone probity and accountability which is the whole aim of the Auditor-General. We are all involved in building our motherland Ghana.

Signed. Nii Tettey Tetteh Executive Director and Emmanuel Osei, Director Policy and Political Affairs

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