1992 Constitution needs reforms – Samson Lardy Anyenini

A renowned journalist and a legal practitioner, Mr Samson Lardy Anyenini, has indicated that the root to all the insecurities in the country is the Constitution.

He stated that for peace to prevail in the country, the Constitution needed some reforms on the appointment of some heads of the security service in the country.

Mr Anyenini made this suggestion on Monday at the state of freedom and justice in Ghana symposium which was organised by Citizens Movement Against Corruption (CMoC) in Accra.

According to Mr Anyenini, the Inspector General of Police (IGP) must be appointed by a body to be agreed and not by the president. He said, however, if the IGP must be appointed by the president, the process must be along the lines of the procedure, terms and conditions of a justice of the Supreme Court.

He further suggested that the IGP must have a fixed non-renewable term of office and to be removed only on the stated grounds as is applicable to justices of the Supreme Court and heads of independent constitutional bodies.

IGP Independence

He underscored that to further assure the IGP’s independence, the Police Council must not have more than two appointees of the President. He said those two must not be eligible to chair the council and must be constituted along the lines of the board of the office of the president prosecutor.

“This is not rocket science and we can do this, Kenya is an example worth emulating, their 2010 constitution provides in article 245 nonrenewable four year tenure and functional independence of the IGP.

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Cabinet can only give direction in a matter of policy and such direction must be in writing,” he stated.

Attorney General

According to Mr Anyenini Section 42 of the representation of the people law, 1992 (P.N.D.C.L. 285), which made criminal offences committed during elections and written consent of the Attorney-General for prosecutions must also be repealed completely or amended to take those powers away from the “Party-sponsored President’s appointed Attorney General”.

He added that powers also needed to be taken away from the Regional Ministers and MDCEs as heads of Regional and District Security Councils.

“We must let security heads keep that job naturally as the security architecture and their training allows, why empower the police and other law enforcement agencies to investigate and arrest offenders only to deny them the power to proceed to make a decision to prosecute those they have arrested or investigated?” queried.

The symposium brought together representatives from the Centre for Democratic Development (CDD), IMANI Ghana, Ghana Anti-corruption Coalition (GACC) and security experts to tackle the state of insecurity in the country, address excessive executive influence and executive accountability and the passing of a credible Right to Information Law.

CHRAJ

The Commissioner for the Centre for Human Rights and Administrative Justice, Mr Joseph Whittal, also called for accountability and citizenry involvement in policy implementations by the government.

“Ghana has a top-down approach in our democracy and that is wrong, citizens must rather be at the center of development but the government mostly do not engage them in decision making, leaders have the luxury of taking their own decision without involving the masses, this must be stopped because at the end of the day, it is rather the citizens who are affected when a bad decision is taken,” he added.

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Touching on the state of the security agencies, Mr Whittal advised that politicians must stop turning the National Security (NS) into what the Constitution and Security and Intelligence Act does not allow.

He said no law permitted the current situation where the NS had an armed force and performing police duties and supplanting the army, Bureau of National Investigations (BNI) and the EOCO.

Mr Whittal stated that was unconstitutional and unlawful for NS to maintain a force that stopped citizens, conducted a search, effected arrests, detained people and used arms to control the public.