A private legal practitioner, Mr John Ndebugri is calling for the immediate disbandment of the National Security Secretariat and Ministries since the setting up of such organisations was in direct contravention of provisions in the 1992 Constitution of the country.
According to him, “there is nothing like National Security” in the 1992 Constitution, and therefore the decision of the President to even create a Ministry of National Security as well as to appoint a Minister of State in Charge of National Security was against the provisions of the 1992 constitution.
Contributing to a discussion on Accra-based Joy Fm on Saturday, September 21, 2019, concerning the Emile Short Commission’s report on the violence that characterised the Ayawaso West Wuogon by Election in Accra on Thursday morning, January 31, 2019, Mr Ndebugri, said there was no need to establish any security agency outside what the 1992 constitution had specified.
“So when people say National Security, I don’t get it,” he said, adding that “there is a national Security Council and Article 85 of the constitution forbids the establishment of any security organisation outside the organisations established by the Constitution; so when you go and establish a national security unit, what is the meaning of that? It is in direct contravention of Article 85.”
Mr Ndebugri said the 1992 Constitution only recognises the National Security Coordinator and that the creation of portfolios such as the National Security Minister and Minister of State in charge of National Security was a creation “to give jobs to the boys.”
He explained that although the creation of Ministries were at the discretion of the President, the President could not exercise his discretion against the provisions of the constitution.
“You cannot exercise your discretion against provisions of the constitution. The constitution says, don’t establish a national security organisation not recognised by the constitution. Where is it in the constitution that you should appoint a national security minister?” he quizzed.
According to Mr Ndebugri, the National Security unit ought to be disbanded otherwise they would be used to disrupt elections in the country.
“The constitution only recognises a national Security Council Secretariat, it doesn’t recognize a National Security police station. And you call yourself national security; and you go and recruit hoodlums, and you train them and build them into muscles and release them on people. That is in direct contravention of article 285 of the constitution,” he said.
According to Mr Ndebugri, what the Emile Commission tried to do with its report was to draw the attention of the president to the fact that they (the government) departed from article 85 by creating the National Security Ministry and unit and the need to scrap it.
The Justice Emile Short presented its report on the Ayawaso West Wuogon electoral violence to President Akufo-Addo on Thursday, March 14, at the Jubilee House in Accra.
President Akufo-Addo established the commission under Article 278 of the 1992 Constitution, to inquire into the events and associated violence that occurred during the by-election.
The government in a white paper has rejected some aspects of the Short Commission’s report, saying that the report failed to achieve its core terms of reference.