The National Democratic Congress (NDC) Member of Parliament for Tamale Central, Inusah Fuseni, has said the President should have revoked the appointment of Upper West Regional Minister Sulemana Alhassan, instead of suspending him.
Speaking on The Big Issue, Inusah Fuseini claimed that despite the other tougher sanctions that could have been handed to the Minister including dismissal and possible arrest for obstructing justice, the President chose the “milder course of action” because of his intentions to reinstate the Minister
This, the Tamale Central legislator described as unfortunate, stating that people must be held responsible for their actions.
“As the head of this country, with the Executive power vested in him and all the investigative authorities reporting to him, he ought to have had a reasonable idea of the involvement of the minister in this particular case. So if it is about commitment to enforcing the rule of law and when information gets to you that the Minister facilitated the commission of the offence, what you do is that, you sack him,” he said.
A group of angry youth purported to be members of the New Patriotic Party (NPP) besieged the Upper West Regional office of the National Disaster Management Organization (NADMO) on Wednesday evening and chased out the Regional Director, Isaac Seidu.
Mr Seidu escaped unhurt, but his personal assistant, Osman Seidu was beaten to a pulp and rushed to the Upper West Regional Hospital.
The staff of the Organization laid down their tools in solidarity with their boss but have since returned to work.
President Nana Akufo-Addo then suspended the Upper West Regional Minister, Sulemana Alhassan after reports emerged that he prevented the arrest of three of the men involved in the attack.
And according to Inusah Fuseini, the Minister’s involvement in the incident and his protection of the assailants made him an accessory to their crime, an offence which merited more than a suspension.
“Listening to the NADMO official, they said that the regional minister was a threat to their life, so from the NADMO, so from the NADMO officers account, the minister is involved in the commission of the act,” he said.
Some colleagues of Inusah Fuseini have also expressed misgivings about the President’s decision to suspend the regional Minister.
However, their arguments stem from apparent breaches of the Constitution by Nana Akufo-Addo.
The leader of the Minority in Parliament described the directive for Deputy Upper West Regional Minister, Amidu Ishaq to act in the stead of the suspended Regional Minister, Sulemana Alhassan as unconstitutional.
While commending the decision taken by the President to suspend the Regional Minister, Haruna Iddrisu stated that, it was imperative that the President does not breach the Constitution in his effort to address the situation.
“We welcome the swiftness of the President’s action against the Regional Minister for attempting to [frustrate efforts] at getting an end to the lawlessness in the country by the masquerading NPP youth in that region and other parts of the country. But the President himself is a respected legal practitioner and must do what is appropriate legally and constitutionally within the meaning of the Supreme Court ruling on the status of deputy Ministers. It is wrong in law and constitutionally for the deputy Minister to be asked to acting in the absence of the regional Minister,” Haruna Iddrisu said.
Meanwhile the member of Parliament for Bawku Central, Mahama Ayariga has also described the president’s decision as unconstitutional, insisting that he should have dismissed the Minister
He suggested that there was the need to seek the Court’s view on the matter.
“We can raise it on the floor of Parliament and debate it, but that doesn’t also give finality to the matter. It’s the courts that will give finality. The only way to obtain some finality is to go to the courts and test then Constitution in relation to the conduct of the President. Perhaps by [Friday] morning the President would have thought through it, realized he has done the wrong thing and reverse his decision. If he doesn’t then of course, there might be a need to challenge his actions and either myself or somebody else who has space may decide to do that,” he said in an interview.