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Three file writ to restrain DCE, Presiding Member

BY: Samuel K. Obour

Three members of the Offinso North District Assembly have filed a writ at the High Court in Kumasi seeking an injunction to restrain Mr Kwame Adjei Davies and Mr Samuel Appiah-Kubi from holding themselves out as District Chief Executive (DCE) and Presiding Member respectively of the district assembly.

In the writ, dated August 22, 2013, the three are also seeking a declaration that decisions taken at a meeting held on August, 15 2013, including, in particular, the purported election of Davies as Presiding Member of the assembly contravened the Local Government Act, 1993, Act 462.

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They are also seeking another declaration that the purported removal of the duly elected presiding member and the election of Davies is invalid until ratified by a decision of a majority of the assembly members at a subsequent validly held meeting.

The applicants are seeking a third declaration that a meeting held on August 20, 2013 in the offices of the District Chief Executive during which Mr Appiah-Kubi’s nomination as DCE was purportedly confirmed or approved by the members present was invalid and unlawful.

The applicants are Collins Ntim, assembly member for the Ahenbronum Electoral Area, Afrancho; Alex Owusu Bawuah, member for the Nkranom Electoral Area, Nkenkaaso, and John Kofi Domfeh, member for the Esoro Dome Electoral Area, Nkenkaaso.

In an affidavit in support of the motion the applicants said Mr Appiah-Kubi had been the­­­­­­ DCE for the area and was renominated by the President, Mr John Mahama, for the position.

However, he failed to get the approval of two-thirds of the members of the assembly as required by law on July 16, 2013 and July 23, 2013.

It said according to the Model Standing Orders regarding the renomination of DCEs, Mr Appiah-Kubi’s nomination should have been withdrawn after having failed on two occasions to get the nod of members.

That, however, did not happen.

It said on August 13, Ntim, who is also the Presiding Member of the assembly, received a letter from the Ashanti Regional Co-ordinating Council, dated August 6, 2013 and signed by the Deputy Ashanti Regional Minister, Samuel Yaw Adusei, indicating the renomination of Appiah-Kubi as DCE and requesting that a special meeting should be convened to confirm him.

The letter, it said, did not contain any reasons as required by the Model Standing Orders.

Upon receipt of the said letter, the affidavit said, Ntim, in his capacity as the Presiding Member, wrote about the assembly to the Regional Minister requesting clarification relative to the provisions of the 1992 Constitution, the Local Government Act, 1993, Act 462 and the Model Standing Orders.

According to the affidavit, while awaiting response, Davies and Innocent Kwame Amankwaa, another assembly member and second respondent in the case, and some other members of the assembly, convened a meeting on August 15 at which Davies was purportedly elected presiding member, in total disregard of the relevant statutory procedures.

Following the purported election of Davies, it said, he convened a meeting in his purported capacity as presiding member where the nomination of Appiah-Kubi was confirmed.

The affidavit stated that by the express provisions of the 1992 Constitution, the Local Government Act, Act 462 and the Model Standing Orders, the actions and conduct of Davies and Appiah-Kubi relative to their purported election and acting as presiding member of the Offinso North District Assembly and the subsequent actions taken pursuant to and in furtherance of the purported elections were unlawful, illegal, null and void.

In addition, it said, their continuous holding on and acting in their stated unlawful capacities as DCE and Presiding Member of the assembly was invalid and improper.

“Further still, that the purported meetings convened by the first respondent (Davies) being improperly convened and held, the decisions taken at the said meeting or meetings are invalid until and unless the same are ratified by the majority decision of the assembly as a whole.

Further still, until and unless the decision taken at the improperly held meeting including, in particular, the purported approval and or confirmation of the nomination of Appiah-Kubi as DCE for Offinso North has been duly and validly validated  and or ratified by the majority of the members of a subsequently validly held and or convened meeting of  the assembly, Appiah Kubi cannot hold himself out and or act in the public office of a District Chief Executive officer for the Offinso North District Assembly” it said.

By Mark-Anthony Vinorkor/Daily Graphic/Ghana