The Speaker of Parliament, Professor Aaron Mike Oquaye, is set to be sworn in as acting President tomorrow Saturday for the second time in less than a week.
This swearing-in, mandated by Article 60 (11) and (12) of the 1992 Constitution, has been necessitated by President Nana Akufo-Addo’s scheduled trip to Addis Ababa for the AU Summit.
Prof. Oquaye was previously sworn in on Sunday after President Akufo-Addo left Ghana for Monrovia, Liberia, as a guest at the investiture of the President-elect of that country, George Weah.
The Vice President, Dr. Bawumia, also left Ghana for the United Kingdom on Friday night on medical leave after he took ill earlier in the day, and was undergoing medical checks.
The law concerning the swearing-in was breached by a former Speaker of Parliament, Doe Adjaho in 2014, when he refused to take the oath of office as acting President at a point.
Both President Mahama and his Vice Kwesi Amissah-Arthur had traveled outside the country at the time.
This compelled the Managing Director of Citi FM, Samuel Atta-Mensah, and a United States-based Ghanaian lawyer, Prof. Kwaku Asare, to file a suit at the Supreme Court, to among other things, seek an interpretation of Article 60 (12) of the 1992 Constitution, which requires that the Speaker takes the oath of office each time he is to act as President.
The Supreme Court, in a unanimous decision, declared that the Speaker of Parliament, Edward Doe Adjaho, violated Article 60 (11)-(12) of the 1992 Constitution when he declined to be sworn in to act as President.
The nine-member panel, presided over by Justice Sophia Akuffo, also averred that the “Speaker of Parliament shall always, before assuming the functions of the Office of President when the President and the Vice-President are unable to perform their functions, take and subscribe to the oath set out in relation to the Office of President”.
Some have however insisted that the law is obsolete, considering that a President on an international assignment remains a President, and so he or she doesn’t need anyone to act in his absence.