General News of Fri, 6 Jan 201756

Akufo-Addo’s first appointment not supported by Constitution - lawyer

Three days after the first appointment of the incoming New Patriotic Party (NPP) government was announced, a private legal practitioner has questioned the process.

Samson Lardy Anyenini has faulted incoming President, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo for announcing the appointment of his Chief of Staff, Presidential Staffers as well as his security capos without consulting the Council of State.

Speaking on the Joy FM's Midday News Friday, the lawyer said "there were issues that called for attention" in the appointment announced by the new President whose inauguration is 24 hours away.

On Wednesday, Nana Akufo-Addo announced the appointment of the people who would be in charge of the organisation of the Office of the President.

Former Member of Parliament (MP) for Ayawaso West Wuogon, Akosua Frema Osei-Opare, 69, was announced as Ghana's first female Chief of Staff.

Development planner, Francis Asenso-Boakye, 39, and long-time Aide of the President-elect, Samuel Abu Jinapor, 33, were appointed as Ms Osei-Opare's deputies.

Also, economist and Financial Research Analyst, Victor Newman was appointed Director of Research at the Presidency, Military Engineer, Brigadier General Emmanuel Okyere as National Security Advisor,Joshua Kyeremeh as the National Security Coordinator and Kan Dapaah as Security Minister.

Material Engineer, and Press Secretary to Nana Akufo-Addo, Eugene Arhin, 33, was named the Director of Communications at the Presidency and Entrepreneur, Lord Oblitey Commey, 48, was appointed the Director of Operations.

The others were, Campaign Aide to the President-elect, Clara Napaga Suleman Tia, 30, was appointed as a Presidential Staffer and Saratu Atta, 53, was appointed as the Personal Assistant to the President-elect.

Reactions to the appointment in the country have been mixed. Whereas sections of Ghanaians praised the President-elect for what they described as the quality of people he selected, others held a different opinion.

Host of Good Evening Ghana on Accra-based Metro TV, Paul Adom Otchere commended Nana Akufo-Addo for what he said was the "gender boldness" he demonstrated in the selection of a female as Chief of Staff.

"This is the first time a President has indicated his readiness and preparedness to gender parity," he told Joy News on Wednesday.

But Mr Anyenini who hosts Joy FM/MultiTV's news analysis programme Newsfile on Saturdays said the appointment comes with a baggage of infractions.

He singled out the National Security Coordinator-designate which he said was supposed to have been done in consultation with the Council of State and Public Services Commission as directed by the law.

"That is not the proper way to go about it," he said, quoting sections of the Presidential Office Act 1993 (ACT 463) to buttress his argument.

On his part, former Chief of Staff, Nana Ato Dadzie found nothing wrong with the first appointment announced by the incoming President.

He said the act only constitutes a "preparatory announcement" which might herald a proper consultation with the Council of State when it is constituted by the incoming government.

"There is nothing wrong with it [because] obviously their appointment shall take effect from the day they shall have the assent of the Council of State," he added.

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