The Bawku Central Member of Parliament, Mahama Ayariga, has sued the Akufo-Addo administration at the Supreme Court over the implementation of some of its key initiatives such as the Infrastructure for Poverty Eradication Programme (IPEP), Free Senior High School, Planting for Food and Jobs as well as the operations of existing agencies like the Microfinance and Small Loans Center (MASLOC) and others.
Mr. Ayariga is arguing that the government failed to submit operational modalities for the policy framework of some of these programmes to Parliament.
He thus wants the court to compel either the President or the relevant minister to present the pertinent legislation and regulations to Parliament.
His lawsuit notes that he is seeking “an order of mandamus compelling the President or his assigned Ministers
to bring to Parliament appropriate legislation establishing the institutions or agencies to implement the said initiatives, and to have proper regulations presented to Parliament for enactment to govern the exercise of discretionary power necessarily implicated in the implementation of the said initiatives once the Appropriations (No. 2) Act, 2017 (Act 951) was passed by Parliament authorizing the appropriation of the funds.”
According to the lawsuit, the MP will also be seeking “An interim order of injunction restraining the President or his agents from implementing the initiatives until such time as the appropriate institutions for implementation are enacted by Parliament and the appropriate regulations to govern the implementation of the said initiatives are also approved by Parliament.”
“If the court agrees with my position, then naturally, the court will be telling them that, go back to Parliament with regulations on how you are going to implement the nation builders’ corps and spend 600 million this year,” Mr. Ayariga told Citi News after the suit.
Among Mr. Ayariga’s points of concern are the modalities for accessibility, non-discrimination agreements and systems to ensure value for money.
The Ghana School Feeding Programme, National Afforestation Programme, Zongo Development Fund, and the Ghana Education Trust Fund are also mentioned in the lawsuit.
Fulfilment of threat
After Abuga Pele and Philip Assibit were imprisoned on February 23, 2018, for their role in the GYEEDA scandal, Mr. Ayariga’s assessment was that they were victims of a system filled with holes that festered corruption.
Abuga Pele, the former National Coordinator of the Ghana Youth Employment and Entrepreneurial Agency (GYEEDA), was sentenced alongside the Chief Executive Officer of Goodwill International Group, Philip Assibit, to a combined jail-term of 18 years on various counts, including willfully causing financial loss to the state.
The imprisoning of the two prompted Mr. Ayariga to give some state agencies an ultimatum to present to Parliament reforms to their regulations or face action at the Supreme Court.
In the week beginning February 26, he said he was going to move against every state agency exercising “unfettered discretionary power without clear non-discriminatory non-arbitrary regulations approved by Parliament governing the exercises of their discretionary power.”
“I shall in the coming week write to each and every agency of government concerned and demand that the regulations be brought to Parliament within 30 days otherwise I will proceed to the Supreme Court to seek an injunction against all that they are doing in violation of the law,” he said to Citi News at the time.
Mr. Ayariga said he would:
- Call for the annulment of all modules and contracts entered into by the National Youth Employment Authority that are not founded on approved regulations passed by Parliament, including the annulment of all of Zoomlion’s contracts with the agency.
- Demand that the GETFund should award no scholarships.
- Demand that the Micro Finance and Small Loans Centre (MASLCOC) must cease operating.
- Demand that the Presidency no longer grants international scholarships through the Scholarship Secretariat.
- Demand the termination of all contracts under the Ghana School Feeding programme by the end of this term.