-Supreme Court has ordered the A-G to start surcharging officials who have misappropriated state funds
-The 7-member panel of justices for the hearing was presided over by Justice Sophia Akuffo
-This ruling comes as a result of a suit brought against the A-G by Occupy Ghana
The Supreme Court today, June 14, 2017 has ordered the Auditor General to without delay, surcharge all persons and entities found in relevant, successive reports to have engaged in misappropriation of state funds. The 7-member panel of justices is yet to come out with the reasons for this ruling.
In June 2016, pressure group, Occupy Ghana filed a suit at the highest court of the land against Ghana’s Auditor-General. The suit was filed because the pressure group said the Auditor-General refused to exercise the powers vested in him by the country’s constitution to issue disallowances and surcharges against state officials who embezzle state funds.
As at the time of filing the suit, Occupy Ghana revealed that funds that were misappropriated was in the region of GHc 40 billion.
The pressure group wrote severally to the A-G in 2014 to remind him of the surcharges but no action was taken. In November that same year, the group wrote to the Auditor-General informing him of their willingness to assist him activate the powers that were vested upon him to surcharge but there was no response in that regard.
After several other meetings and even one crucial one held on 27th March, 2015, the pressure group realized that the Auditor General had still not taken any pragmatic steps to retrieve misappropriated funds from state officials; a clear violation of the Constitution, leaving the pressure group with no choice than to take the matter up with the Supreme Court.
As part of the suit, Occupy Ghana had requested of the Supreme Court to declare “that the Auditor-General’s omission, failure, refusal or neglect to issue any Disallowances and Surcharges in respect of the above, and as appears in his successive Reports since the coming into force of the Constitution, violates the Constitution.”
The pressure group is in the forefront of investigating state dealings and coming out with findings of misappropriation of funds.
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