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Opinions of Thursday, 2 June 2016

Columnist: Abaare, Cletus

Ghana Immigration Board is illegal

Your authoritative newspaper, the CitizensMail, can report exclusively that the nine-member Board for the Ghana Immigration Service (GIS) is an illegal entity and the service risk being dragged to court to have decisions taken by its board of directors quashed.
The paper's investigations have revealed that the service board of directors according to the Immigration Service Act - 1989 (PNDCL 226), have to be made of a seven-members board of directors and not a nine-member board as currently exist in the service.
Section – 2 of the Act - 1989 (PNDCL 226) stipulates that "(1) The governing body of the Service is the Immigration Service Board, consisting of; (a) the chairman and five other persons appointed by the President in accordance with article 70 of the Constitution, and (b) the Director of Immigration.

However, the board which was inaugurated in Accra with a call on them to team up with management to solve perennial challenges facing the Service to enhance smooth operations, by Hon James Agalga, the Deputy Minister of the Interior and legal brain rather have nine members thereby breaching the Act that establishes the board.

Section - 3 of the Act spells out the functions of the board to including the following: to advise on and to ensure the effective implementation of the laws and Regulations pertaining to immigration and related issues; (b) to control generally the management of the Service on matters of policy subject to this Act; (c) to examine and advise on the matters concerning the welfare, training and discipline of the employees of the Service; (d) to advise on matters of appointment and promotion of employees of the Service.

The other functions according to the Act include (e) to draw up a scheme of service prescribing the terms and conditions of service as well as the remuneration of the employees of the Service; (f) to provide for the organisation of the Service into viable units; (g) to make recommendations to the Minister on bilateral and multilateral co-operation with foreign countries in matters related to immigration.

It also states that (1A) The Immigration Service may retain twenty percent out of the moneys realised in the performance of its functions; (2) The Board may, for the performance of its functions, appoint committees and assign to a committee a function that it may consider fit or as otherwise prescribed by law.

What this therefore means is that the two persons who are not legal members of the board but are in the board and take part in the decision making; decisions that govern the Service could lead to concern persons dragging the service to court to have all decisions, directives and orders taken and given by the board to be null, void and of no effect. This is because, the two illegal members of the board have rendered the whole board an illegality and therefore cannot be deemed to be the governing board of the Service.

Section – 5 of the Act that deals with the meetings of the board and stipulates that it can at least meet once in every month at the times and categorically states that "the quorum of a meeting of the Board is four". A board of nine-member cannot have its quorum to be four instead of five members which represents the majority of the members.

The Service Board is under the chairmanship of Hon Cletus Avoka, Member of Parliament for Zebilla Constituency, a one-time former Minister for the Interior and a lawyer by profession.

The board has Mr Cletus Avoka, a former Interior Minister, as its chairman. The other members are Dr Ahmed Abdulai Jinapor, Mr John Owusu Amankrah, Mr Robert Oracca Tetteh, Nana Essifuah Boison.

The rest are Mr Mustapha Ahmed, COP/Dr Peter Wiredu, Mrs Adelaide Anno-Kumi and Mr Alexander Grant Ntrakwa.