A law lecturer at the Ghana Institute of Management and Public Administration (GIMPA), Justice Srem-Sai, has made some interesting observations concerning president Akufo-Addo’s rush to push the Imposition of Restrictions Bill through Parliament under a certificate of urgency.
Following the confirmation of the coronavirus disease in Ghana, the government of president Akufo-Addo quickly drafted a new bill, called the Imposition of Restrictions Bill, and managed to push it through Parliament as an urgent bill. This, they claim, is to enable the government deal with the coronavirus disease.
Now an act, the law gives the president more power through executive instruments (EI) to impose restrictions on the movement and or assembly of individuals or groups of persons without recourse to Parliament – whether in an emergency or not.
This is in spite of the fact that the Constitution makes provision for the president to declare a state of emergency in such pressing or urgent situations.
Making reference to the development on his Facebook page, Justice Sai likened the president’s conduct to the conduct of dictators. He observed that such dictators “find it laborious to comply with pre-existing legal frameworks.”
Referring to it as “the rule of man,” Justice Sai observed that dictators usually create a “special purpose vehicle” to see things through.
Justice Sai used the opportunity to pray to God, Himself to “grant the President the strength to subject himself to pre-existing laws” and to grant Ghanaians the courage “to draw the President’s attention to pre-existing legal frameworks anytime we find him creating new ones to suit himself.”
Read Justice Sai’s full post below:
“When the President employed a person into the public service who was above the maximum age that the Constitution allows, they said that the President did nothing wrong. They argued that the President was entitled to create a “special purpose vehicle” to get any person to work for the public.
Now, on this IRA state of emergency issue, too, a similar argument is being made: that the President is doing nothing wrong; that the President has the power to create a special purpose vehicle to deal with the crisis situation; and, that he doesn’t necessarily have to go through the pre-existing legal framework.
But, you see, all dictatorships have one thing in common – they all find it too laborious to comply with pre-existing legal frameworks. So, they always create a “special purpose vehicle” for things. What’s the point in having laws in place when you can always make new ones to suit you. That clearly is rule of man (not rule of law).
May the Lord, God, Himself grant the President the strength to subject himself to pre-existing laws. But, even more importantly, may He give us all the courage to draw the President’s attention to pre-existing legal frameworks anytime we find him creating new ones to suit himself.
Oh Lord, hear our prayer.
By a ghanahotissues.com writer
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