The Minority in Parliament has filed a motion to remove the Attorney General, Godfred Yeboah Dame, from office.
According to the National Democratic Congress (NDC) Members of Parliament (MPs), the Justice Minister has refused to comply with a directive from Parliament to facilitate the admission of some 499 students into the Ghana School of Law.
Parliament on October 29, passed a resolution directing the General Legal Council (GLC) to admit the 499 candidates who were denied admission to the Ghana School of Law.
The House resoundingly voted in support of a motion filed by Deputy Majority Leader, Alexander Afenyo-Markin.
The Effutu MP prayed the House to compel the GLC to admit all candidates who passed the entrance examination per the advertised rules.
Parliament directed the Attorney General to ensure this resolution was adhered to by the Council.
However, the Attorney General wrote back to Parliament saying the House cannot direct the GLC on its admission processes by resolution.
“Whilst recognising the general legislative powers of Parliament in Ghana, except as have been circumscribed by the Constitution, I am constrained to advise that Parliament is devoid of power through the use of Parliamentary resolutions, to control the process of admission into the Ghana School of Law.
“The mode of exercising legislative power enshrined in article 106 of the Constitution does not admit of resolutions,” he said.
But in a memorandum addressed to the Speaker of Parliament by Minority Chief Whip, Mohammed Muntaka Mubarak, the Minority wants the Speaker of Parliament to schedule a censure vote on the Attorney General.
“That This Honorable House passes a vote of censure on the Honourable Attorney-General and Minister for Justice Mr Godfred Yeboah Dame, in respect of the following conduct: Refusal, without justifiable basis, to implement the resolution of this Honorable House unanimously passed on October 29, that the General Legal Council admits into the Ghana School of Law 499 students who sat for and passed the entrance examination of the Ghana School of Law for the 2021/22 legal year in accordance with its own published grounds rules, impugning the image and integrity of this Honorable House through statements unbecoming of the holder of the office of Attorney General and Minister of Justice of this Republic,” the memorandum read.
What does the constitution say about the censure of votes against Ministers of state?
Article 82 deals with censure of ministers. Accordingly, a two-third majority of Parliament is needed to pass any vote of censure against Ministers of State but only after the motion has been debated within 14 days upon receipt of the motion by the Speaker of Parliament.
82 (1) Parliament may, by a resolution supported by the votes of not less than two-thirds of all the members of Parliament, pass a vote of censure on a Minister of State.
(2) A motion for the resolution referred to in clause (1) of this Article shall not be moved in Parliament unless-
(a) Seven days notice has been given of the motion; and
(b) the notice for the motion has been signed by not less than one-third of all the members of Parliament;
(3) The motion shall be debated in
Parliament within 14 days after the receipt by the Speaker of the notice for the motion.
(4) A Minister of State in respect of whom a vote of censure is debated under clause.
(3) Of this article is entitled, during the debate, to be heard in his defence.
(5) Where a vote of censure is passed against a Minister under this article the President may, unless the Minister resigns his office, revoke his appointment as a Minister.
(6) For the avoidance of doubt this article applies to a Deputy Minister as it applies to a Minister of state.