The Minority in Parliament has demanded the publication of the Justice Brobbey’s Commission of Inquiry Report on the creation of the proposed new regions.
In a media engagement with the Parliamentary Press Corps, at the Conference room of the Minority in Parliament, the Minority Leader, Mr. Haruna Iddrisu, pointed out that it has been almost five months since the Commission submitted to the government, its report containing recommendations to create some six new regions.
Speaking for the Minority in Parliament, Mr. Iddrisu stated that the Minority are not against the creation of the new regions but it is important to draw the attention of Ghanaians to the failure of the government in publishing the report.
He again informed the Parliamentary Press Corps that the content of the report is, however, shrouded in so much secrecy that even Parliament, as a co-equal branch of the government has been denied access to the report.
Mr. Iddrisu reiterated that the Constitutional Instrument for the conduct of the referendum, leading to the creation of the proposed regions, has been laid before Parliament to mature in twenty-one sitting days.
“Parliament is being asked to conduct a surgical operation in the dark, having no idea whether the Constitutional Instrument conforms in material respects to the recommendations of the Justice Brobbey’s Commission Report”, he said.
“It is in the interest of good governance, openess, truthfulness and transparency, that the report of the Commission of Inquiry is made public to enable the nation verify that the Constitutional Instrument before Parliament is truly reflective of the contents of the Commission’s Report”, he added.
He concluded that the Report must be opened up to the entire nation to enable Ghanaians gain insight into the thinking of the Constitutionality of its recommendations.
The six proposed Regions and the Commissions of enquiry
Pursuant to paragraph 3 of Constitutional Instrument, No. 105, gazetted on Thursday, October 12, 2017, President Akufo-Addo appointed a nine-member committee chaired by Justice S.A. Brobbey, to look into the creation of some six new regions.
On Tuesday June 26, 2018, the Justice Brobbey Commission of Inquiry recommended to the President, the creation of Oti (Volta Region), Ahafo (Brong Ahafo), Bono East (Brong Ahafo), Western North (Western Region), North East (Northern Region) and Savanna (Northern Region).
Chairman of the Commission, Retired Supreme Court judge, Justice S. A. Brobbey, indicated that the report if implemented, will lead to the achievement of the objectives set out in their terms of reference.
Terms of Reference of the Commission of Inquiry
The Terms of Reference of the Justice Brobbey’s Commission of Inquiry are set out in paragraph 4 of C.I. 105. These are:
a) To inquire, pursuant to the petitions, into the need and substantial demand for the creation of new regions and, thereby, the alteration of Western Region, Brong Ahafo Region, Northern Region and Volta Region;
b) To make recommendations to the President based on its findings, on the creation of a region or alteration of regional boundaries;
c) To specify the issues to be determined by referendum and the places where the referendum should be held, where it makes recommendations for the creation of new regions and alteration of regional boundaries.
The 1992 Constitution and the creation of new regions
The 1992 Constitution in Article 5(1) gives the President the mandate to create a new region, alter the boundaries of a region or provide for the merger of two or more regions.
Article 5(4) of the 1992 Constitution states that “where a commission of inquiry appointed under clause (2) and (3) of this article finds that there is the need and a substantial demand for the creation, alteration or merger referred to in either of those clauses, it shall recommend to the President that a referendum be held, specifying the issues to be determined by the referendum and the places where the referendum should be held”.