Supreme Court allows OccupyGhana to join suit challenging independence of Auditor-General

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The Supreme Court on Tuesday, October 20, 2020, granted leave to the pressure group, OccupyGhana to file an Amicus brief on the suit challenging the extent of the Auditor-General’s independence and powers.

Private legal practitioner, Isaac Wilberforce Mensah took the Auditor-General and the Audit Service Board to the Supreme Court, arguing that the Auditor-General’s independence is limited to his audit functions and activities necessarily incidental to those functions.

He also argues that the appointment of officers and other employees of the Audit Service “is the sole exclusive and exclusive of the Audit Service Board” without interference by the Auditor General.

Mr. Mensah is praying the Supreme to declare as wrongful the Auditor-General’s “deliberate absence from Board meetings without justifiable excuse”, which absence, he argues, “does not invalidate decisions taken at such Board meetings”.

OccupyGhana notified the Supreme Court on Tuesday of its motion seeking leave to file Amicus curiae on the matter.

Without any opposition from the parties, the court granted the pressure group one week to file its brief.

Lawyers for the Audit Service Board also notified the court it will be responding to the brief when it is filed.

Contentious Legal Representation

The question of Legal Representation for the Auditor-General and the Audit Service Board lingered on in Tuesday’s proceedings.

At the last adjourned date, the Attorney General announced representation for all the defendants in the matter, including the Auditor-General and the Audit Service Board.

This was notwithstanding that the Audit Service Board had announced a lawyer on the record.

Though the Court had charged the parties in the matter to resolve the issue, they failed to as the contention resurfaced in Court today. After the Attorney General had announced itself as representing both the Audit Service Board and the Auditor-General,

Mr. Opoku Adjei also announced himself as representing the board.

In response to opposition from Deputy Attorney General Godfred Yeboah Dame, the Court took the position that the Auditor-General and the Audit Service Board are fundamentally conflicted on the reliefs being sought and it will be difficult for the AG to handle both sides.

Mr. Dame thus took a cue from the Court for Mr. Adjei to represent the Audit Service Board on the matter.




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