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Why Mahama appointed Domelevo for 'unforeseen circumstances' - Akufo-Addo reacts to CSOs

BY: Graphic.com.gh

The Presidency in a response to Civil Society Organisations (CSO) against corruption on the retirement of Mr Daniel Yaw Domelevo as Auditor-General has given a detailed account on circumstances surrounding his appointment, his work and the eventual retirement.

In a 21-page open letter dated March 19, 2021, signed and issued by the Secretary to the President, Nana Bediatuo Asante, President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo explained that how Mr Domelevo was appointed and how he executed his job was indicative that his allegiance was not to the nation Ghana.

The Presidency explained that events leading to the selection of Mr Domelevo for the role leaves much to be desired as far as the motive of former President John Mahama who appointed him was concerned.

“…having lost his mandate to govern, former President Mahama appointed Mr Domelevo to the office, knowing very well that President Akufo-Addo would be sworn into office in a few days, to pursue a particular agenda.”

This comes on the back of accusations by a cross-section of the country including the Coalition of Civil Society Organizations Against Corruption that the Presidency and the Audit Service Board is unfairly targeting the retired Auditor-General.

President Akufo-Addo on March 3, 2021, directed Daniel Domelevo to proceed on retirement over his age, a move many civil society organisation have deemed an attempt to stifle the fight against corruption.

Director of Advocacy and Policy Engagement at the Centre for Democratic Development (CDD-Ghana) at a press conference on March 10, said the sudden retirement of Mr Domelovo is not in accordance with the Constitution as it breaches Article 23 of the Constitution.

“The questions regarding Mr Domelevo’s date of birth which formed the recent basis for the President’s letter were not handled in accordance with the Constitutional directive in Article 23. The actions of the office of the President and the Audit Service affirm our belief that Mr Domelevo has been unfairly targeted,” the Coalition Spokesperson said.

However, the President begs to differ.

In the 21-page open letter, the decision to present Mr Domelevo for the office, days after Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo’s 2016 election victory shows that Mr Mahama wanted his finger on the pulse in the incoming administration to help him ‘purse a particular agenda.”

He was appointed by former President on December 30, 2016.

The letter further suggested that the ‘hurried nature of the switch from an earlier agreed nominee in the person of Dr Felix Kwame Aveh by the Council of State smacks of an ulterior motive.

“Dr Felix Kwame Aveh was the Auditor-General that former President Mahama intended to appoint if he won the election of December 7, 2016. But he lost.”

In a letter quoted by the Secretary to President Akufo-Addo, said to have been written by former Chief of Staff Julius Debrah to the Council of State on December 13, 2016, over the change in nominees, the then-Chief of Staff wrote that “the change was as a result of some unforeseen circumstances.”

On the back of this, the Presidency believes that it was a deliberate orchestration occassioned by the “painful loss” of the 2016 elections.

“After losing the election, it became necessary for former President Mahama to change his nomination for Auditor-General, with the sole aim of saddling the then-President-elect, Nana Akufo-Addo, with an Auditor General whose allegiance was to former President Mahama, instead of the nation,” the statement said.

Background

On March 3, 2021, President Akufo-Addo directed the Auditor-General, Daniel Domelevo to proceed on retirement.

This came less than 16 hours after he returned from a 167-day accumulated leave.

The directive, according to a statement signed by Secretary to the President, Nana Asante Bediatuo, stems from an indication by the Audit Service Board that Mr Domelevo has exceeded the eligible age to remain in the workforce.

“The attention of the President of the Republic has been drawn to records and documents made available to this Office by the Audit Service, that indicate that your date of birth is 1st June, 1960, and that in accordance with article 199 (1) of the Constitution, your date of retirement as Auditor-General was 1st June, 2020.”

The statement explained that “based on this information, the President is of the view that you have formally left office.”

Essentially, Johnson Akuamoa-Asiedu will continue to act in Mr Domelevo’s stead until a substantive appointment is made.

“The President thanks you for your service to the nation and wishes you the very best in your future endeavours,” the March 3 statement concluded.

Below is a copy of the full 21-page open letter from the presidency