3 Assembly Members sue Local Gov’t Minister

Three members of the Accra Metropolitan Assembly (AMA), Kumasi Metropolitan Assembly (KMA) and the Bibiani-Anhwiaso-Bekwai District Assembly (BABDA) have sued the Minister of Local Government and Rural Development, Collins Dauda, at the Supreme Court.

According to them, the minister had blatantly and unilaterally asked the various metropolitan, municipal and district assemblies that fail to elect Presiding Members (PMs), to proceed to elect acting PMs through simple majority to preside over assembly meetings for the duration of the sitting only.

They are contending that the directive issued by the Minister had unilaterally changed some aspects of the Model Standing Orders governing the operations of the assemblies, and that is completely against the spirit and letter of the 1992 Constitution; and must not be made to stand.

The assembly members who have brought the action against the minister are Robert Kwame Dadzie from the AMA, Oscar Richies from the KMA and Isaac Nkrumah, the BABDA.

Article 244 Clause 2 of the 1992 Constitution says that a presiding member for any district assembly in Ghana can only be elected to preside over meetings of the district assembly by obtaining two-thirds of the votes of all the members of the assembly, with the same provision also being repeated in the Local Government Act 1993 (Act 462) as well as the Model Standing Orders that have been drafted to guide the operations of the various assemblies.

The minister has, however, authorised the deletion of the Order 10 (7) that mandates the assemblies to elect presiding members with two-thirds of the members who vote and be substituted with a new clause which could allow presiding members to be elected by simple majority.

The three assembly members say what the minister had done is against the 1992 Constitution and are therefore praying the Supreme Court to halt that decision.

They want to know whose duty it is to convene a general meeting if the PM elected by a simple majority who is to sit for just one day, finishes with his mandate for that particular day.

“I swear to this affidavit praying the Honourable Court to declare that the amendment of the Model Standing Orders amounts to an amendment of Article 244 (2) of the Constitution of the Republic of Ghana and that amendment should be declared as unconstitutional, illegal, null and void and of no legal effect and should accordingly not be implemented by any district assembly,” the lead plaintiff, Robert Kwame Dadzie, said

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