Dzamefe Commission of Inquiry report can be contested after six-months — AG
The Attorney-General and Minister of Justice, Mrs Marietta Brew Appiah-Opong
Persons directly affected by the commission of inquiry into matters relating to the participation of the Black Stars in the Brazil 2014 World Cup tournament cannot contest the final report of the commission until after six months.
Additionally, parties can appeal the commission’s findings three months after the six-month period has elapsed.
Therefore, any individual or organisation that has been cited in the report but feels aggrieved can take legal action from December 2015. The Attorney-General and Minister of Justice, Mrs Marietta Brew Appiah-Opong, in an online interview with the Daily Graphic, said those conditions had been captured under Article 280 of the 1992 Constitution.
Article 280 of the 1992 Constitution on commissions of inquiry, particularly clauses (2), (3), (5) and (6), state as follows: “(2) Where a commission of inquiry makes an adverse finding against any person, the report of the commission of inquiry shall, for the purpose of this Constitution, be deemed to be the judgement of the High Court; and accordingly, an appeal shall lie as of right from the finding of the commission to the Court of Appeal.
“(3) The President shall, subject to Clause 4 of this article, cause to be published the report of the commission of inquiry, together with the White Paper on it, within six months after the date of the submission of the report by the commission.
“(5) A finding of the commission of inquiry shall not have the effect of a judgement of the High Court, as provided under Clause (2) of this article, unless: (a) six months have passed after the finding is made and announced to the public; or (b) the government issues a statement in the Gazette and in the national media that it does not intend to issue a White Paper on the report of the commission, whichever is the earlier.
“(6) The right of appeal conferred by Clause (2) of this article on a person against whom a finding has been made shall be exercisable within three months after the occurrence of either of the events described in Clause (5) of this article or such other times as the High Court or the Court of Appeal may, by special leave and on such conditions as it may consider just, allow.”
The Attorney-General and Minister of Justice said in effect Article 280 (5) meant that “the report of the commission of inquiry will only have the effect of a judgement of the High Court six months after the finding is announced to the public”.
The Assembly Press, over the weekend, announced that the Dzamefe Commission Report was ready for sale to interested persons and organisations.
The Managing Director of the State Publishing Corporation, owners of the Assembly Press, Mr David Dzreke, told the Daily Graphic that the Attorney-General’s Department presented the report to the Assembly Press in hard copy on Tuesday, June 16, 2015. A copy is being sold for GH¢120.
The White Paper
The government earlier this month released a White Paper on the report of the Commission of Inquiry into matters relating to the participation of the Black Stars in the 2014 World Cup in Brazil.
Mrs Appiah-Opong said the government accepted most of the recommendations of the commission.
She said where the government had not accepted the commission’s recommendations, it had stated so and given reasons for the non-acceptance.
“Where the government has accepted the recommendations in modified form, this has also been stated and the reasons for the modification have been given,” she added.
According to her, the next step after the issuance of the White Paper is the implementation of the accepted recommendations.