Benjamin Agordzo

Retired Assistant Commissioner of Police (ACP), Dr. Benjamin Agordzo, has proposed a comprehensive approach to safeguarding the tenure of office of the various security heads. ACP Agordzo maintained that a complete amendment of the 1992 constitution is key to addressing the perennial change in leadership of the security services after a new government assumes office.

His comments come on the back of a Supreme Court suit by IMANI Africa, together with Prof. Kwesi Aning, praying to the apex court to prevent the President from changing the leadership of the Police Service, Prisons, Immigration, and Fire Service. Reacting to the development, ACP Agordzo commended IMANI Africa and Prof. Kwasi Anin for taking such a bold step.

“Let me first of all commend IMANI Africa and Prof. Aninng for this writ at the Supreme Court to clarify some of these issues,” ACP Agordzo said, adding that “this is a subject that has been tackled by the constitutional review commission and a lot of presentations were done.”

He continued: “I think a more comprehensive approach would have been more preferable because they are talking only about the termination or they would have wished that reasons were given or it should be done on safer grounds.” However according to ACP Agordzo, the constitution in its current form is “completely silent about termination,” for which reason “most of us have been calling for amendments to this constitution long ago.”

He further indicated that the Ghanaian constitution, unlike that of Kenya and the United Kingdom (UK), amongst other similar ones, has created a wide discretion for the President. “When you look at other constitutions, like the Kenyan constitution of 2010, it comes up with the mode of appointment and the criteria by which people should be appointed to those positions.

“When you go to the UK, you will see that before you climb up to that position, you must come up with a vision, mission and everything, and you must undergo some interviews based upon which somebody is selected,” the former senior police officer told Alfred Ocansey, host of Ghana Tonight, on Tuesday, March 12.

“And then when you look at other constitutions, it tells you about the tenure, so I’m looking at it from three points of view, [that is] the appointment, the termination, and then the tenure,” he added.

IMANI, Kwesi Aning sue AG

The IMANI Centre for Policy and Education, and Professor Kwesi Aning of the Kofi Annan International Peacekeeping Training Centre have filed a lawsuit against the Attorney General over the selection processes for uniformed security agency chiefs.

The petitioners have expressed concerns about the practice of new governments terminating the tenures of specific institution leaders. “In some cases, these removals occur before the individual occupants of the office reach the statutory retirement age. For instance, in 2017, the then Director-General of the Prisons Service, Mr Emmanuel Yao Adzator was asked to proceed on leave at the age of 54 and subsequently another was appointed in his stead.

“The President of the Republic of Ghana upon assumption of Office does not have the power to make a fresh appoint to the office of the Chief Fire Officer of the Fire Service; Inspector General of Police; Director General of Prisons Service and Comptroller General of the Immigration Service unless the immediate holder of the office is deceased,” portions of the writ stated.

Benjamin Mensah

By Benjamin Mensah

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