The Supreme Court has granted New Patriotic Party (NPP) Bono East Regional Chairman, Kwame Baffoe, alias Abronya DC, permission to serve a writ on Minority Leader, Haruna Iddrisu, and 8 other former John Mahama appointees via substituted service.
The vociferous NPP Chairman went to the Supreme Court last year, invoking its original jurisdiction for the interpretation of Article 98 of the 1992 Constitution.
The provision bars Members of Parliament from holding any other office of profit or emolument, be it private or public, and whether directly or indirectly, unless with the permission of Mr./Madam Speaker’s permission; and on the grounds that the conflict of interest concerns are not triggered and that the MP’s core responsibilities are not prejudiced.
Consequently, and on the strength of Article 78(3) of the Constitution, Abronya DC wants the Supreme Court to direct or compel the former Ministers/Deputy Ministers within the Mills-Mahama Administrations, who were also elected Members of Parliament between 2009 and 2016, to pay back to the Republic, all double salaries received within the period.
Article 78(3), in the spirit of article 98, also bars Ministers of State from holding any other office of profit or emolument.
The 12 defendants in the case are Minority Leader and former Trade and Industry Minister, Haruna Iddrisu, Alhassan Azong, Fifi Fiavi Kwetey, Eric Opoku, Abdul Rashid Hassan Pelpuo, Emmanuel Armah Kofi Buah, Edwin Nii Lantey Vanderpuye, Mark Owen Woyongo, Comfort Doyoe Ghanasah, and Aquinas Tawiah Quansah.
The rests are the Controller and Accountant General and the Attorney General.
Lawyer for Abronya DC, Seth Gyapong Oware, however, told the single-judge Supreme Court on Thursday that it has become next to impossible to serve 9 out of the 12 defendants in the case with the writ invoking the original jurisdiction of the Court, and the applicant’s Statement of Claims. He thus urged the Court to allow them to serve the processes via substituted service.
His Lordship Clemence Honyenuga, while granting the application, said “good and substantial reasons have been urged for the grant of the application.”
He ordered that copies of the Writ Invoking the original jurisdiction of the Supreme Court, and Statement of Claims be posted on the notice boards of the Supreme Court, Parliament, and the High Court at the Law Court Complex, and for the same to also be published in the “Daily Guide” and “Daily Graphic” Newspapers.
These publications are to last for 14 days beginning from the first day of their posting.