MMDCEs in acting capacity lawful - Supreme Court dismisses Defeamekpor’s suit
MMDCEs in acting capacity lawful - Supreme Court dismisses Defeamekpor’s suit

MMDCEs in acting capacity lawful - Supreme Court dismisses Dafeamekpor’s suit

The Supreme Court has dismissed a suit challenging the constitutionality of President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo’s directive for metropolitan, municipal and district chief executives (MMDCEs) to remain in office after their tenure expired in 2021.

The suit, which was against the Attorney-General (A-G), invoked the jurisdiction of the Supreme Court to interpret the 1992 Constitution.

It was filed by the National Democratic Congress (NDC) Member of Parliament (MP) for South Dayi, Rockson-Nelson Dafeamekpor.

It was the case of the MP that the President’s directive breached the 1992 Constitution because there was no provision in the Constitution for “acting MMDCEs”.

In a unanimous decision Wednesday, a seven-member panel of the apex court, presided over by Justice Jones Dotse, disagreed with the plaintiff and accordingly dismissed the suit in its entirety.

The court did not immediately give its reasons, but said the reasons would be made available at the Registry later Wednesday.

“After consideration of plaintiff’s case, our judgment is a unanimous decision. We dismiss all the reliefs of the plaintiffs and our reasons would be filed at the Registry by close of today,” Justice Dotse said.

Other members of the panel were Justices Nene Amegatcher, Professor Nii Ashie Kotey, Mariama Owusu, Avril Lovelace Johnson, Gertrude Torkornoo and Henrietta Mensa-Bonsu.


Mr Dafeamekpor sought an order from the Supreme Court to direct all MMDCEs who were in office due to the directive from the President to “vacate office with immediate effect”.

He asked the apex court to declare that per Article 246 (2) of the 1992 Constitution, the President had no power or authority to direct MMDCEs “to remain in office in an acting capacity”.

Article 246 (2) of the 1992 Constitution stipulates that the term of office of MMDCEs “shall be for four years; and a person shall not hold office for more than two consecutive terms”.

Also, it was his case that apart from the term of office, per Article 243 (1) of the 1992 Constitution, it was a prerequisite for all MMDCEs to be approved by members of the assemblies before they could hold themselves as MMDCEs.

He, therefore, wanted the Supreme Court to declare the President’s directive for the MMDCEs to be in office in acting capacity as a violation of Article 243 (1) of the 1992 Constitution.

The legal action by the MP was basically asking the Supreme Court to declare all those acting as MMDCEs as illegitimate.

It was the case of the MP that per the 1992 Constitution, there was no position recognised as “acting MMDCEs”, and, therefore, it was unconstitutional for the President to direct persons to serve as such.

The suit, filed in September 2021, was on the heels of many concerns raised by the rank and file of the ruling New Patriotic Party (NPP) over the President’s then perceived feet dragging in the appointment of MMDCEs almost eight months after he was sworn into office for his second term.

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