You left office in June 2020 – Akufo-Addo tells Domelevo

President Akufo-Addo has shown Auditor-General Daniel Yaw Domelevo the exit the same day the latter reported for work after taking his accumulated leave.

President Akufo-Addo acted based on a letter from the Board of the Audit Service, which pointed to  Social Security and National Insurance Trust (SSNIT) records capturing Mr Domelevo’s date of birth as June 1, 1960.

Mr Domelevo had updated his records in 1992 to reflect June 1, 1961, as his date of birth, but the Board disregarded the changes stating legally inadmissible explanations from Mr Domelevo.

Article 199 (1) of the Constitution mandates a compulsory retirement age of 60 for public officers.

“Based on this information, the President is of the view that you have formally left office,” Secretary to the President, Nana Bediatuo Asante, stated in a release on Wednesday, March 3, 2021.

The statement indicated, “Mr Johnson Akuamoa-Asiedu will continue to act as Auditor-General until the President appoints a substantive Auditor-General”.

Mr Akuamoa-Asiedu has been acting since President Akufo-Addo asked Mr Domelevo to take a compulsory 167-day accumulated leave.

Mr Domelevo had been on leave since July 1, 2020.

Besides his age, the Board also challenged Mr Domelevo’s nationality with was stated as Togolese in his first SSNIT application.

Date of birth claims

Mr Domelevo further explained that he got to know his true birth date “when I checked my information in the baptismal register of the Catholic Church in Adeemmra.”

According to Mr Domelevo, the Catholic register captured his native name ‘Yaw’, which included his birth date as June 1, 1961.

This, he said, conforms to the Thursday day name (Yaw). He further provided details of a Parish Priest named Rev Fr Dion for any verification.

This prompted the change at SNNIT on October 25, 1992, to reflect his date of birth as June 1, 1961, and the hometown to Ada in the Greater Accra Region.

He added that he was sure he provided legal backing otherwise SSNIT would not have affected the change.

Board’s response

However, the Audit Service Board insisted that his statement further casts doubt on his nationality.

The Board stated that he should provide the legal documents to back his claims on the changes because “information in the baptismal register of the Catholic Church in Adeemmra is not a valid document to authenticate your date of birth”.

The Board subsequently referred the matter to the President, who is the appointing authority for the Auditor-General, to take action.

Background

President Akufo-Addo, in 2020, asked Mr Domelevo to take an accumulated leave, but the directive was highly criticised by Civil Society Organisations (CSOs), who further called for the reinstatement of Mr Domelevo.

According to the CSOs, President Akufo-Addo cannot ask the Auditor-General to proceed on leave when he had been assigned a special duty to investigate the payment of $1million to Kroll and Associates Limited by Senior Minister Yaw Osafo for some consultancy services.

The move was also criticised by some members of the NDC who said it was a strategy employed by the government to shield the Senior Minister from being investigated on the matter.

Despite these accusations, President Akufo-Addo refused to heed the calls of these groups on the basis that the Constitution makes provision for any public office holder to take leave.

The bad blood between the Board chair and Daniel Domelevo

Mr Domelevo and his Board Chair, Prof. Dua Agyeman, have been at loggerheads since 2017.

Mr Domelevo, appointed by former President John Mahama, had accused Prof. Dua Agyeman, appointed by President Akufo-Addo, of interfering in his work and violating his mandate.

The Auditor-General, in a May 2018 letter to President Akufo-Addo, asked for intervention in the matter.

Professor Dua Agyeman, a former Auditor-General, denied the allegations and accused Domelevo of disrespecting the Board.

“[Domelevo] is insisting that he is not answerable to the Board and that whatever instructions we give he will not take.”

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