The Flagstaff House, the seat of government, has been found to be abusing it authority with the re-engagement of public appointees, who are supposed to be on retirement, on contract basis, sometimes to the chagrin of the 1992 Constitution of Ghana; Article 199 (1).
The Herald’s findings are that, instead of the seat of government; The Flagstaff House, ensuring that fresh limbs are appointed to head various institutions, it is rather allowing old folks, whose ages according to the Constitution of Ghana forbid them hanging around, thus denying the free rise of career officers to head these state institutions.
Article 199 (1) states that “a public officer shall, except as otherwise provided in this Constitution, retire from the public service on attaining the age of sixty years”.
Most of these public officers are mainly in the state security apparatus namely; the Ghana Armed Forces (GAF), the Ghana Police Service (GPS), the Ghana Immigration Service, Customs Excise and Preventive Service (CEPS), and the Ghana National Fire Service (GNFS).
Also on the list of these strategic state institutions with retirees is the Bank of Ghana (BoG) governor, Dr. Henry Kofi Wampah, who has attained the legally mandated retirement age of 60, but is presently on contract, although his performance has been nothing good to write home about.
The Director of Immigration, DCOP Dr. Peter Wiredu, is over 60 years, and was supposed to have retired some three years ago. His continuous stay in the helm of affairs at the Service, has left many Immigration officers asking whether government considers them unfit for the job of GIS boss.
The Inspector General of Police (IGP), Alhaji Mohammed Alhassan, was given a one year contract by the Flagstaff House after he was due to retire, having been made IGP months prior to his mandatory retirement.
The Fire Service boss, Brigadier General John Bosco Guyiri, was expected to have retired about a year ago. What is interesting is that most of his colleagues in the military, who were serving various positions in the Ghana Armed Forces (GAF), have all been retired by the Flagstaff House.
Presently, reports are rife that tension is rising in the Customs Excise and Preventive Services (CEPS) over the re-engagement of two officers – Kit Laryea and Charles Sablah – on contract basis.
The decision by government to give two-year contracts to Laryea and Sablah, who otherwise, were going on retirements this year, has not gone down well with some officers of the customs division of the Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA), who are looking on with disbelief.
Information say a letter to that effect, issued under the heading, ‘Request for Appointment of Two (02) Exemplary Officers,’ purportedly signed by the Chief of Staff, Prosper Douglas Bani, is requesting the appointments of Charles Sabblah and Kit Laryea for the positions of Capacity Building, Preventive (Security) Logistics ISO and Capacity Building, State Warehouse Operation and Auctions respectively.
According to media reports, it was the Customs authorities that had requested the contract for the two retired officers.
The letter, with reference H/Staff/3 served on CEPS on September 15, 2014 read, “Approval has been given for the under-listed Deputy Commissioners of the Customs Division to be offered two years’ contract appointment each with effect from 1st January, 2015 as requested in your letter referred to above.”
The letter said, the contract would end on December 31, 2016 and asked the Customs Division to take the necessary steps to give effect to the decision.
These contract appointments from the Flagstaff House, is said to be angering many career officers in the state establishments, as they view this as impeding the chances of injecting fresh ideas into the running of these institutions.
Interestingly, no official of the Judicial Service; the third arm of government, especially judges are allowed to spent even a day more, after attaining their respective retirement age.