The Office of the President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo has responded to the Auditor-General’s response to the directive to him to proceed on leave.
The Auditor-General, Mr. Yaw Domelevo, in a letter dated Friday, July 3, 2020, addressed to the President and also copied to the Press, said, he had been instructed to take his annual leave because his work was embarrassing the government.
The Auditor-General said tenets of the country’s law flaw the President’s directive to him to take a mandatory 123-day leave.
The Auditor-General Mr Yaw Domelevo asked the President Nana Akufo-Addo to reconsider his directive for him to proceed on his accumulated annual leave and hand over all matters relating to the Office to Mr. Johnson Akuamoah stating that the directive had “serious implications for the constitutional independence of the office of the Auditor-General. “
However, a statement from the Office of the President and signed by its Secretary, Nana Bediatuo Asante, said although the letter is yet to be delivered to the Office of the President, it is necessary to correct the wrong impression created in the public domain on the directive to the Auditor-General Mr Domelevo to proceed on leave.
The statement said the Auditor-General’s response was out of ignorance of the law and further said the President’s directive was based on sound legal principles.
“The President has at all times acted based on sound legal principles, the rule of law and good governance practices and the good people of Ghana cannot be misled by your lack of understanding of the position of the law for which you may be forgiven since you are not a lawyer” the statement said.
Citing the Labour Act 2003 Section 31, the statement said Mr Domelevo could not forgo his annual leave and any agreement to relinquish his entitlement to annual leave or “to forgo the leave is void”.
It further said that, per the holdings of the country’s courts, and the interpretation of the said Act, the ‘annual leave is mandatory and that one of the purposes of Section 31 is to prevent the worker from converting his accumulated annual leave to cash to the detriment of his health and wellbeing.’
“Thus, your assertion that you may waive your entitlement to annual leave is unlawful and misconceived,” parts of the statement read.
The statement described components of the A-G’s letter as ‘unfortunate’, considering his position, whilst establishing the reason behind the President’s directive.
“The assertion that the decision for you to take your accumulated annual leave was not taken in good faith is also unfortunate and without any foundation. The Office of the President did not know that part of your duties is to keep a record of appointees of the President who have not taken their annual leave since 2017, such that you can make the false claim of selectivity.
You can be assured that the decision for you to take your accumulated annual leave was not taken in bad faith. Rather, your own publicization of your deteriorated relationship with your Board which notified you severally of not taking your annual leave, the President was the only person vested with the constitutional power to direct you to proceed on your accumulated annual leave,” parts of the statement read.
The statement maintained that “the directive of the President stands” with an amendment to 167 instead of the initial 123 days since he added 2020 as part of the leave, in his response to the President.
Below is a copy of the statement from the Office of the President.