Editor-in-Chief of the New Crusading Guide newspaper has called out the leader of the NDC caucus in Parliament, for saying it is illegal for the President to appoint ‘Caretaker Ministers’.
Abdul Malik Kweku Baako said Haruna Iddrisu who is himself a former minister was asked to act as a Caretaker Minister by the erstwhile John Mahama administration.
The veteran journalist’s comment follows concerns raised by the Tamale South MP that some former ministers still hold on to their ministerial positions even though their term of office has expired.
This was after President Akufo-Addo charged them to maintain their respective positions pending the appointment and subsequent approval of new ministers for his second term in office.
The President, through his acting Chief of Staff, Frema Osei Opare had explained that the directive is in line with the Presidential (Transition) Act, 2012 (Act 845).
While Section 14 (1) of Act 845, states that all ministers, deputy ministers, presidential staffers, such as the Chief of Staff and the Executive Secretary to the President, and non-career Ambassadors and High Commissioners ceased to hold office when the President’s tenure ended on January 7, Section 14(2) of Act 845 allows the President to appoint a person to perform the functions of all those mentioned above for a specified period.
But citing the Supreme Court ruling in J. H Mensah versus Attorney General 1997, the Tamale South MP stressed that there is nothing like ‘acting’ or ‘holding’ Minister.
In his interview on Joy Prime’s On the Record on Monday, Mr Iddrisu argued that until prospective Ministers of State go through the constitutional processes they cannot hold themselves as Ministers, hence his decision to describe the directive as illegal.
But in a post on Facebook, Mr Baako shared a letter from former President John Mahama appointing Mr Iddrisu to take “temporary charge of the Ministry of Communication until a substantive Minister is duly appointed.”
In the letter dated January 8, 2013, and captioned “Exercise of oversight responsibility”, the then President quoted Section 5 of the Presidential Transition Act, Act 845, 2012, as the basis for the directive.
“Following my swearing-in and inauguration on Monday, 7 January 2013 as President of the Republic of Ghana, I hereby in accordance with section 5 of the Presidential (Transitional) Act, Act 845 2012 appoint you to take the temporary charge of the Ministry of Communication..” part of the letter read.
Meanwhile, Kojo Oppong Nkrumah, former Minister for Information; Alan Kyerematen, former Minister for Trade and Industry; Ken Ofori-Atta, former Finance Minister and Dominic Nitiwul; former Minister of Defence have all been asked to act as caretaker ministers pending new appointments.
The others assigned include Ambrose Dery, former Minister for Interior; Albert Kan Dapaah, former National Security Minister; and Hajia Alima Mahama, former Local Government Minister.
The former Chief of Staff, Akosua Frema Opare will also temporarily serve in the same position.