A private legal practitioner, Samson Lardy Ayenini, has indicated that findings made against NPP flagbearer Nana Akufo-Addo by the Judgement Debt Commission can dash his presidential ambition.
Commenting on the Joy FM/ MultiTV’s current affairs programe, Newsfile, Samson hinted that Akufo-Addo could be blocked from contesting the 2016 presidential election by any interested party, citing Articles 62 and 94 of the 1992 Constitution to back his point.
The Judgment Debt Commission’s report accused New Patriotic Party flagbearer Nana Akufo-Addo of causing financial loss to the state in the GNPC drill ship scandal.
“This Commission holds the view that the payment of US$19.5 million instead of the US$14 million earlier on agreed, constituted financial loss to the Corporation and Ghana,” the Commission’s report stated.
Having studied the report, Samson deduced, “the findings have the consequence of disqualifying Nana Addo to contest for the job of President of Ghana according to Articles 62 and 94 of the Constitution.
That the fundamental principle law, of the rule of natural justice that a man shall not be condemned unheard was, however, breached and that a court will not hesitate to struck down those findings to preempt a political mischief at denying Nana Addo the chance to file his nomination to contest the elections next year.”
Article 62 states that: “A person shall not be qualified for election as the President of Ghana unless - …(c) he is a person who is otherwise qualified to be elected a Member of Parliament, except that the disqualifications set out in paragraphs (c), (d), and (e) of clause (2) of article 94 of this Constitution shall not be removed, in respect of any such person, by a presidential pardon or by the lapse of time as provided for in clause (5) of that article.”
Also, Article 94 Clause 2 (d) stipulates, “has been found by the report of a commission or a committee of inquiry to be incompetent to hold public office or is a person in respect of whom a commission or committee of inquiry has found that while being a public officer he acquired assets unlawfully or defrauded the State or mis-used or abused his office, or willfully acted in a manner prejudicial to the interest of the State, and the findings have not been set aside on appeal or judicial review; or.”
Nana Akufo-Addo would have to go to court to quash the findings of the Commission if he really wants to contest the election, Samson told Myjoyonline.com.
Meanwhile, lawyer and close associate of Nana Akufo-Addo, Nana Asante Bediatuo has punched holes into the Commission’s work, arguing that it failed to prove Akufo-Addo’s complicity in the judgment debt.
“The Commission is an inquisitorial commission. It is not like our normal courts that employs the adversarial process. So the Commission has a higher burden of investigating and interrogating every issue that comes up and looking for evidence in support of one particular fact or another. I think that in this particular instance the Commission has failed in that endeavor”, he said.