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CEPS boss sues government for wrongful dismissal

Africanus Owusu Ansah

Africanus Owusu Ansah

The Deputy Commissioner of the Customs Excise Preventive Services (CEPS), in charge of Preventive Duties, Mr. Africanus Owusu Ansah has sued the government for relieving him of his post, before his lawful retirement date.

Mr. Ansah, who hauled the Attorney General, the acting Commissioner of CEPS and the Executive Secretary of the Revenue Agencies Governing Board (RAGB) to court, is seeking a declaration that the acting Commissioner had no authority to relieve him of his post.

Plaintiff is further seeking general damages for unlawfully dismissing him of his post. In a writ filed by his counsel, Mr. Edward Darlington on October 16, this year, Mr. Ansah indicated that he was employed as an officer of CEPS on May 15, 1985 and rose through the ranks to earn his current position.

Plaintiff was of the view that the conduct of the defendants infringes on his rights as a worker and citizen of Ghana, noting that he will suffer great injustice if the court does not intervene. According to the plaintiff, he was invited to attend an interview at the Public Service Commission as a result of which he was appointed to the position of Deputy Commissioner in charge of preventive duties by a letter dated July 27, 2007.

Mr. Ansah noted that the appointment letter spelt out his entitlement and conditions of service including other benefits, further emphasizing a well spelt out procedure of how his appointment could be terminated.

Additionally plaintiff pointed out that his appointment was made by the President of the Republic of Ghana on the advice of the RAGB in consultation with the Public Services Commission.

Plaintiff indicated that on September 11, this year, the Acting Commissioner in an internal memorandum sought his dismissal as he further proceeded to make a new appointment as a result of which he was required to handover to the new appointee by the close of business on September 18 this year.

“The plaintiff states that no reason was given for relieving him of his post and no adverse findings had been made against him that could qualify as ‘stated misconduct’ within the meaning of his letter of appointment as Deputy Commissioner,” the writ said.

Plaintiff asserted that his due date for retiring from the service has been scheduled for August 18, 2010.  He therefore pointed out that the acting Commissioner did not appoint him and therefore, had no legal standing to dismiss him from the service as the conduct of the Commissioner does not constitute the responsibilities given him by the law.

Mr Ansah also noted that the letter relieving him of his post did not in anyway state what his status will be thereafter especially in light of the fact that his retirement from the service was not due. The writ lamented that although the plaintiff wrote to the Commissioner by a Memorandum dated September 17, this year seeking clarification as to his status in the midst of all the uncertainties, the Commissioner failed to respond to the Memorandum or clarify the issue.

Source: modernghana.com

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