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Regional News Sun, 31 May 2020

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ChaLoG calls on Akufo-Addo to sack Western regional minister

The Chamber for Local Governance (ChaLoG) has called on President Akufo-Addo to sack the Western Regional Minister, Mr. Kwabena Okyere Darko-Mensah from office for his reckless, irresponsible and lawless manner he conducted himself before, during and after the confirmation of the MCE for the Tarkwa-Nsuaem Municipal Assembly, Hon. Benjamin Kesse.

The group said the Regional Minister is not fit for purpose as a Regional Minister to coordinate the activities of the MMDAs in the Region and should be dismissed by the President with immediate effect to save the President for further embarrassment to him as a renown human Lawyer who will not support this "bansruc" and "Rambo style" of confirming MCEs.

"Abusing of power in convening a General Assembly Meeting to confirm the MCE nominee which was not summoned by the Presiding Member of the Assembly (an action which flies in the face of Section 17 (5) of the Local Governance Act, 2016 – Act 936 and Part 13 (1a) of the Model Standing Orders for MMDAs)", the statement read.

"The irresponsible use and supervision of Personnel of the Ghana Police Service to physically prevent twenty-two (22) Elected Assembly Members from entering the Assembly Hall to participate in the confirmation of the MCE as bona fide members of the Assembly (a clear breach of Section 16 (1c) of the Local Governance Act, 2016 – Act 936)", the statement added.

The Western Regional Minister, on Friday, May 22, 2020, surprised the election of the newly nominated MCE where the police prevented 22 elected Assembly Members from exercising their franchise.

Already these angry Assembly Members have threatened to send the matter to nullify the results of the newly sworn-in MCE.

Other civil society groups have condemned the act and called the President to investigate the matter. The new to join the call is ChaLoG.

Responding to the accusations, the Western Regional Minister told Daniel Kaku that he has done nothing wrong and emphasized that it was the Electoral Commission who conducted the Election and not him.

"Please I have not done anything wrong and you know I was not the one who conducted the Election so you can talk to the Electoral Commission", he told Daniel Kaku on phone.

Below is the full statement:

Dismiss Western Regional Minister to safeguard the sanctity of Local Government administration – Chalog appeals to the president

The Chamber for Local Governance (ChaLoG) having assessed and analyzed the conduct of the Western Regional Minister (Hon. Kobby Otchere Darko-Mensah) before, during and after the confirmation of the MCE for the Tarkwa Nsuaem Municipal Assembly Hon. Benjamin Kesse, has come to the firm conclusion that he acted in a reckless, irresponsible and lawless manner and hence not fit for purpose as a Regional Minister to coordinate the activities of the MMDAs in the region and should be dismissed by the President with immediate effect.

ChaLoG’s call for the immediate dismissal from office of the Regional Minister by the President is purely based on the following actions which were either deliberately perpetuated or supervised by him:

1. Abusing of power in convening a General Assembly Meeting to confirm the MCE nominee which was not summoned by the Presiding Member of the Assembly (an action which flies in the face of Section 17 (5) of the Local Governance Act, 2016 – Act 936 and Part 13 (1a) of the Model Standing Orders for MMDAs).

2. The irresponsible use and supervision of Personnel of the Ghana Police Service to physically prevent twenty-two (22) Elected Assembly Members from entering the Assembly Hall to participate in the confirmation of the MCE as bona fide members of the Assembly (a clear breach of Section 16 (1c) of the Local Governance Act, 2016 – Act 936).

3. The hasty manner in which the Regional Minister swore in the confirmed MCE in less than an hour after the outcome of the voting was declared by the Electoral Commission (EC), an activity which is the sole preserve of the Judiciary and should have done by a Judge of the a circuit court in the municipality.

The lawless action of the Regional Minister to swear in the MCE was in complete breach of Part 15 (4) of the Model Standing Orders for MMDAs, which specifically states that “In the event of the nominee polling two-thirds or more of the votes of members of the Assembly present and voting, the Electoral Commission shall notify the President of the approval of the Assembly within seven days”.

The questions therefore begging for answers from the EC and Regional Minister are as follows:

1. When and how did the EC notify the President of the approval of the Assembly?

2. Was the EC notification done directly to the President or it was done the way it has always been done through the Local Government Minister to the President?

3. How did the Regional Minister get the Instrument of Appointment from the President to be handed the confirmed MCE to start work almost immediately after his confirmation.

4. What was the urgency in quickly bulldozing his way and side stepping the due processes in getting the MCE to wait to receive his instrument of appointment from the President before he starts work when the Regional Minister was in an acting position as MCE?

ChaLoG therefore views the actions of the Regional Minister to be reckless, irresponsible and lawless and therefore calls on the President to dismiss him with immediate effect as he is no doubt an apology of a vanguard of local governance practice in the Western Region in particular and Ghana at large.

Long Live Local Governance

Long Live ChaLoG

Long Live Ghana

Signed!

Dr. Richard Fiadomor

President

Tell: 0243138633

Hon Romeo Elikplim Akahoho

Executive Secretary

Hon Alhaji Ibrahim F. Faila

Public Relations Officer

Ing. Joshua Quist

Director of Research

Source: Daniel Kaku, Contributor

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