Politics

Godfred Dame has caused more disputes than any Attorney general – Constitutional lawyer

Constitutional lawyer Justice Srem Sai has expressed surprise at the behaviour of the Attorney-General and Minister for Justice, Godfred Yeboah Dame, regarding the minister’s disagreement with the Speaker of Parliament for suspending approval of President Akufo-Addo’s ministerial nominees.

Godfred Dame, in an interview with TV3’s Joseph Ackah Blay, accused Speaker Alban Bagbin of “dabbling in politics” over his decision to discontinue the vetting and approval process of the newly appointed ministers pending a Supreme Court decision.

Speaking on The Key Points on Saturday, March 23, Justice Srem Sai maintained that the posture of the Attorney General is not consistent with what the law requires of him.

“Attorney-General is supposed to be for the Republic, for the whole state. There is a difference between being a regime lawyer and an attorney general. When you are a regime lawyer your primary objective is to do everything that it takes to keep the regime going and that’s different from being an attorney general,” he stated.

“Attorney general is supposed to be someone who sits behind and observes the national implication of everything and gives an advice and tries to actually reconcile differences. During the term of this attorney general, there have been more disputes between arms of governments especially parliament and the executive, than any other attorney general, why so?” he quizzed.

Srem Sai also found it disturbing that the same Attorney General’s advice to the President not to take any action in relation to the Human Sexual Rights and Family Values Bill 2024, pending the determination of the applications for injunction orders filed at the Supreme Court, cannot be adhered to by the Speaker of Parliament.

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“When you have a situation where the attorney general even when he gives advice to the executive and the speaker benefits or seeks to apply the same advice he quickly writes another letter to tell the speaker that no, this is not for you to benefit from it, it is for the President to benefit from, it doesn’t augur well for the office.”

He therefore questioned the Attorney General’s advice to the President during the E-levy case.

“This same issue came up in the E-levy; what advice did the attorney general give to the President when he was signing the e-levy? So you see the attorney general’s behaviour is lacking the consistency that law requires,” said Justice Srem Sai, emphasising that “it appears that it’s being more of a regime advice…but that is not the job of the office of the attorney general.”

However, he maintained that he does not subscribe to the school of thought that the mere fact that a person has filed a writ means that a person commanded by the Constitution should stop undertaking his or her constitutional duties.

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