Creation of Oti Region ‘manifestly’ unconstitutional – Law lecturer fires opening salvos at Akufo-Addo, EC

President Akufo-Addo and EC boss Jean Mensa

A law lecturer at the University of Ghana Law School has expressed shock over the creation of the Oti Region, which he said was riddled with “comedy of legal errors.”

Dr. Abdul Baasit Aziz Bamba said the new region comprises some towns that form part of the Hohoe Constituency in the Volta Region.

The towns are Santrokofi, Akpafu, Likpe, and Lolobi Traditional areas that by virtue of the Representation of the People (Parliamentary Constituencies) Instrument, 2012 (C.I. 78), are located in the Hohoe Constituency.

The Brobbey Commission of Inquiry into the Creation of New Regions (“Brobbey Commission”) had proposed the inclusion of those towns in the Oti Region.

But the development, the lecturer forcefully argued in part 1 of a five-part article, runs counter to Article 47 (2) of the 1992 Constitution which says: “No constituency shall fall within more than one region.”

“In practical and legal terms, what this means is that the creation of the Oti Region with Santrokofi, Akpafu, Likpe, and Lolobi Traditional areas being made part of the Oti Region will result in the Hohoe Constituency straddling or falling within the Volta Region and the Oti Region,” Dr Aziz Bamba wrote.

Who’s to blame?

The law lecturer believes the “comedy of legal errors” should be situated at the doorsteps of both the Electoral Commission (EC) and president Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo.

“In order to resolve that constitutional impediment, the Electoral Commission should have realigned or readjusted the constituency boundaries of the Hohoe Constituency of the Volta Region in accordance with relevant constitutional provisions prior to the creation of the Oti Region,” he said.

But the EC failed this test and so did the president of Ghana who is an astute and widely-acclaimed lawyer.

“In what looks like a comedy of legal errors, the President also perpetuated the same legal blunder. By the Oti Region Instrument 2019(CI 112) H.E President created the Oti Region out of the Volta Region with Santrokofi, Akpafu, Likpe, and Lolobi Traditional area forming part of the Oti Region. (Page 3 of CI 112),” he said.

Anyway out of the comedy?

Dr Aziz Bamba believes the only way out of the comedy of legal errors would be for the president to outrightly revoke the Oti Region Instrument 2019(CI 112).

“It is absolutely unfortunate that the aspirations of the people of the Oti Region for a new region have been jeopardized by the failure and or neglect of the Electoral Commission to pay attention to detail resulting in a shameful constitutional blunder,” he said.

“The creation of the Oti Region by the President through the Oti Region Instrument 2019(CI 112) is a manifest constitutional catastrophe and the President should consider revoking CI 112 and restarting the processes for the creation of an Oti Region that is not riddled with such obvious legal blunders,” the law lecturer noted.

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