Politics Fri, 8 Jul 2005

Dismissed TMA Assembly members sues TMA, Attorney General, and PM

Tema, July 8, GNA - Seven dismissed government appointees of the Tema Municipal Assembly (TMA) have filed a writ at the Tema High Court "A" against the Attorney General, TMA and the Electoral Commission for wrongful dismissal.

In their statement of claim, the plaintiffs are seeking the court to place an injunction to restrain the Presiding Member of the TMA, Nii Dortey Abotsi III, from convening a meeting to swear in Mr David Annan as the Tema Municipal Chief Executive. They are also praying the court to declare the election to approve the Presidential nominee as the Municipal Chief Executive as null and void. They are equally seeking redress to the effect that the termination or revocation of their appointments is illegal and therefore void and demanding damages for false imprisonment. They are Mr John Sewu, Mr Joseph Ashitey Lartey, Mr Foster Bortey, and Madam Mercy Matey. The rest are Mr Solomon Appiah, Mrs Agnes Adu-Mensah and Nii Armah Samponi II.

Lawyer Emmanuel Avegnorbor is representing the Assembly while lawyer Godfred Kwame Ayeh Roger also represents the plaintiffs. However, the case, which was to be heard on Wednesday, July 6, could not come on because the presiding High Court Judge, Justice Emmanuel Kofi Mensah was indisposed and it was adjourned to Tuesday, July 12.

The claim said the plaintiffs, prior to the voting on the President's nominee for the office of the Chief Executive, were informed on telephone by the TMA's Public Relations Officer that their appointments had been revoked and therefore not eligible to vote. However, on the following day 15th June there was another telephone call informing them that the earlier instruction had been cancelled and therefore eligible to vote. They said on the voting day just before the election they were summoned to meet the Special Assistant at the Presidency, the Regional Coordinating Director, the Deputy Minister of Local Government, the Electoral Commission's Representative and the Presiding Member at the Tema Municipal Coordinating Director's office.

According to them at the meeting, the Deputy Minister verbally told them that their appointments had been revoked and that the issue was under serious discussion and consideration at the Ministry, and they would be informed of the final decision. They said they protested against the procedure adopted into the revocation of their appointments, since they were appointed by a letter duly signed by the Regional Minister for and on behalf of the President.

The plaintiffs said the Deputy Minster told them that they resorted to this procedure to prevent them from voting as they were perceived to vote against the nominee and were also held until they forced their way out. "As at now we have still not received any letters directed to us revoking our appointments as government appointees to the assembly". It said "we hold ourselves as assembly members of the TMA, who have been robbed of their rights to vote". "By the action of the defendants the election conducted by the first defendants is null and void".

Meanwhile, asked why the new Municipal Chief Executive has not assumed office, the Presiding Member of the TMA told the Ghana News Agency that "we are waiting for Mr David Annan to assume office but he said until he is given an appointment letter from the President".

Source: GNA