The removal of heads of public corporations as a result of a change of government has been declared as unconstitutional by the Supreme Court.
In a unanimous decision, a seven-member panel of the court, presided over by the Chief Justice, Justice Sophia Akuffo, held that per Article 190 Clause 1(b) of the 1992 Constitution, public corporations were part of the Public Services of Ghana and, therefore, such persons were public service officers whose appointments were protected by the Constitution.
According to the court, the appointments of such public service officers were governed by Article 195 of the Constitution.
The removal of such public service officers, the court held, must, therefore, be done in accordance with the terms and conditions of their contract of engagement or it must be justified, as stipulated in Article 191 of the Constitution.
Article 195 Clause 1 of the Constitution gives the President of the Republic the power to appoint public service officers, but with the advice of the governing board of the specific corporation, “given in consultation with the Public Services Commission”.
Article 191 (b) states: “A member of the public service shall not be dismissed or removed from office or reduced in rank or otherwise punished without a just cause.”