Muntaka Man Slaps Mills
ADIM ODOOM, the Principal Accountant at the Ministry of Youth and Sports who was interdicted on the orders of President Atta Mills, would this morning hold his head high, walk with a dignified smile to his office and resume his duties, after an Accra Fast Track High Court ruled yesterday that the President’s action was simply unlawful.
The court also awarded costs of GH¢1,000 against the Attorney-General and further ordered that all salary arrears due Mr. Odoom should be paid to him with immediate effect. The judge, Mrs. Norvisi Aryene, made the orders in her ruling on an application for a judicial review in which Mr. Odoom took the State to court, seeking judicial intervention in what he called “unlawful interdiction”.
According to the judge, even though the President has executive powers, he must act within the confines of the Law, adding that “with all due respect, the President acted unlawfully”. The Judge held that under the Civil Service Act, the disciplinary authority for civil servants is the Civil Service Council and the President has no powers to discipline a civil servant.
On the issue of whether or not the accountant qualifies to be a whistle-blower, she said the applicant was indeed qualified to be one, but because of the adverse findings against him by the National Security Committee’s report, he could not seek protection under the Whistleblowers Act.
She then proceeded to quash the President’s decision to interdict Mr. Odoom, saying it is in violation of the Civil Service Act. She further quashed the Head of Civil Service’s decision implementing the President’s directive for “further appropriate sanctions” to be imposed on Adim Odoom.
The Judge finally made an order of mandamus, compelling the Head of Civil Service to permit Mr. Odoom to resume normal duties as a civil servant. On the report by the National Security which investigated the allegations, the judge said the report, if deemed necessary, ought to be referred to the Civil Service Council which is the disciplinary authority.
Mr. Godfred Yeboah Dame, counsel for the plaintiff, asked for GH¢5000 as cost but the trial judge awarded GH¢1000 against the state. Counsel for the applicant, in moving the motion for Judicial Review two weeks ago, told the court that his client does not deserve to be on interdiction and even if he was to be, it is the Civil Service Council that is permitted by Law to institute disciplinary actions against his client; thus the President erred in instituting any such action.
Godfred Dame further stated that his client was denied the right to legal representation when he appeared before the Committee set up to investigate the activities of Hon. Muntaka Mubarak, Member of Parliament for Asawase.
He said his client was not allowed to hear the testimony of Mr. Mubarak and after the report was ready, he was not given a copy and the President, after receiving it, went ahead to accept its findings, ordered his interdiction and directed further disciplinary action to be taken against him.
He said by not referring the matter to the Civil Service Council, which is the disciplinary body of all civil servants for the necessary action to be taken, the President acted unlawfully.