16th OCTOBER, 2019



Article 286 of the Constitution demands the declaration of assets and liabilities by the occupants of certain public offices under three circumstances: (1) upon appointment, (2) every four years, and (3) at the end of the appointment. This provision has become notorious for the breach of it rather than compliance with it.

Often, the discourse has focused on the political offices that article 286(5) specifically mentions. Scant attention has been paid to the chairpersons, MDs and CEOs, General Managers and Departmental Heads in public corporations and companies “in which the State has a controlling interest,” who are also covered. Possibly no attention is paid to the category the Constitution specified as “such officers in the public service and any other public institution as Parliament may prescribe.”

In the Public Office Holders (Declaration of Assets and Disqualification) Act, 1998 (Act 550), Parliament prescribed several additional, covered officers including officers “in any other public office or public institution other than the Armed Forces, the salary attached to which is equivalent to or above the salary of a Director in the Civil Service.”

From preliminary and raw data to which we are privy, the number of public officers who fall within this ‘salary-based requirement’ but who do not comply with the mandatory declaration of assets and liabilities exceeds 40,000.

In the Ministry of Education alone, over 5,000 officers are covered. Others include the Ministries of Finance and Health, each of which has over 3,000 officers covered. Each of the Ministry of Interior, Ghana Health Service and Controller and Accountant General’s Department has over 1000 officers covered. The Audit Service has well over 600 officers affected.

When we apply the ‘salary-based requirement’ to officers of the various other Ministries, Departments, Agencies, Authorities, Commissions, Councils, Boards, Services, Institutes, Organisations, Secretariats, Colleges, Programs, Diplomatic Missions, and the Metropolitan, Municipal and District Assemblies, then our 40,000 estimate appears extremely conservative. The actual figure could exceed 10% of all public servants.

The effect is that all of these public officers are in breach of article 286 of the Constitution and should be facing sanctions under article 287.

The sheer volume of declarations required brings into sharp focus the capacity of the Auditor-General to receive the declarations and then verify them to ensure that the correct declarations are made. The statutory requirement for obtaining, completing and submitting hard copy forms is clearly obsolete and impractical, and a fetter to both compliance and the Auditor-General’s audit and verification responsibilities.

We therefore call upon the Government to, as a matter of extreme urgency, procure necessary, appropriate and robust software that will make it easy both for affected officers to comply by simply filling the forms online and for the Auditor-General to audit and verify the declarations made. We also call for the immediate amendment of Act 550 to provide statutory support for the online declaration regime, if deemed necessary.

In our press release on Assets and Liabilities Declaration issued on January 28, 2018, we stated that the Auditor-General’s post-declaration audit and verification function, which to the best of our knowledge have never happened, are critical to ascertain whether the assets and liabilities are declared in accordance with the law, upon the assumption the public officer assuming office. The audit and verification would investigate whether the assets declared actually exist, so as to prevent ‘assumptive’ declarations, where the person declares non-existing assets now, based on the assumption that through corruption those assets may be acquired later. The audit and verification would also determine whether the declarations were submitted within the time provided by the Constitution, and whether any new assets were acquired or liabilities discharged while in office, so that an inquiry may be conducted into whether those assets or the means to settle the declared liabilities were acquired genuinely.

We repeat that the only way to give voice and flesh to article 286 is to equip the Auditor-General to verify and audit declarations that are submitted, or at least a sample of them.

We once again call on the Auditor-General to outline a verification and audit procedure that reflects the true and proper interpretation of the Constitution, particularly article 286, in line with the above, and implement it forthwith.

Yours in the service of God and Country




9th OCTOBER, 2019




OccupyGhana® is appalled by the brutal assault that the Police meted out to unarmed and peacefully demonstrating law students and their sympathisers on Monday, October 7, 2019. We have seen footages and photographs that show several infractions against the rule of law and of humaneness on the part of the Police. This Police high-handedness and brutality against students exercising nothing more than their constitutional right to demonstrate and air out their grievances makes a mockery of the democracy we claim to respect, and we wish to unequivocally announce our disgust with that turn of events and to condemn same in no uncertain terms.

We have closely studied the Police Statement on the matter which, to all intents and purposes, is a poor attempt to throw dust in the faces of Ghanaians concerning a true and accurate account of the day. For instance, how does the Police Service explain how the protestors somehow procured arsenals of stones to hurl at Police officers on the Independence Road stretch between the Canadian Consulate to the Golden Jubilee House? How is it possible, in 2019, for the police to call an exercise of the constitutional right to assembly “illegal” when police permits are not required to stage a demonstration, and the notice requirement in the Public Order Act can never morph into an unconstitutional demand for some kind of police permission?

We could ask a dozen questions about the Police Statement, which we find as offensive as we find their unwarranted abuse of power and their impunity in a civilised society governed by respect for human rights, human dignity, the rule of law and justice. And we wonder how Government can bear the news that many of these harmless student protestors reportedly found shelter at a foreign consulate from the atrocities of their country’s own Police Service.

We repeat and remind the Police that the right to demonstrate is an inalienable right that requires absolutely no police approval or censure beyond notification. And no edifice, building or “zone” should exist which, having the benefit of public access roads, public traffic and public thoroughfare in whole or in part, cannot accept the presentation of petitions by unarmed and inoffensive demonstrators. No ground in this country is so sacred that it cannot tolerate the lawful exercise of unarmed students’ rights to demonstrate.

We demand, at the very least an apology from the recently-confirmed Inspector General of Police who bears ultimate responsibility for this egregious display of brutishness. We also demand that all Commanding Officers who directly supervised, sanctioned and called for these barbaric attacks on innocent protestors be punished in accordance with the law.


We must also emphatically state that the time is ripe to address the root cause of this matter: the inability of the state to provide sufficient facilities to enable law students from the various law faculties and law schools gain access to professional legal education. We cannot, as a people, grant accreditation for several law faculties and law schools to be opened and run, and then maintain the current size of the School of Law for the professional law course, a completely unjustified bottleneck and another evidence of our lack of planning.

It is a fact that the introduction of the entrance examinations and the erstwhile interviews remain a formalised knee-jerk reaction to a problem that has an obvious solution that we refuse to provide. Ghana is not an island. Several other countries have resolved this problem in a manner that allows prospective lawyers to be trained and given the opportunity to write the final bar exam, however often they may write it. There is nothing wrong with learning from others and adapting what we learn to suit our purposes.

The Government cannot absolve itself of blame in this regard. It is statute that created the General Legal Council. That statute gives the Council the power to regulate professional legal education, sometimes with the approval of the Attorney-General. We insist that the same legislative process should be used to fix this problem once and for all.

A country of almost 30 million people cannot be proud that its official roll of lawyers has just about 3,000 lawyers. A ratio of one lawyer to 10,000 citizens is highly anaemic, and any existing or new policy that unduly restricts access to any form of education, especially in a developing economy, is not forward-looking and should be jettisoned. The time for action on this matter is now, and this buck stops at the desk of the Government.


In conclusion, we demand of the Police Service, the General Legal Council and the Government of Ghana to be guided by the principles outlined in the Ghanaian constitution that all power emanates from the people and not the other way round.

Yours in the service of God and Country



3rd OCTOBER, 2019



OccupyGhana® has keenly followed the active discussions and strong views on the alleged or proposed introduction of CSE into the curriculum of public basic schools.

The lack of clarity and apparent contradictions in statements and actions by government officials on whether such a curriculum is to be implemented at all, and if so what the content would be, is at the heart of the confusion that is festering.

We note that the Minister for Education has been careful to emphasise that CSE is not a part of the “approved” curriculum and curriculum framework for use by the Ghana Education Service for all public schools, that no teacher has been trained on CSE, and that CSE was not included in teacher resource packs and manuals.

However we have seen video footage dated February 2019 in which the minister referred to some guidelines and was emphatic that sexuality education should be part of the curricula to be launched in September 2019 “all they way from Kindergarten to Senior High School.”

This, we believe, was at a program held in Accra where Ghana and UNESCO announced the launch of a CSE program called “Our right, Our lives, Our future (O3),” the implementation of which was reported to have already started in 2018.

Further in paragraph 369 of the 2019 Budget Statement, the Finance Minster announced that the National Population Council and “other stakeholders” had collaborated to develop CSE guidelines “for incorporation into the national education curriculum,” and making reference to the National Condom Strategy.

Much earlier in June 2017, the Ministry of Education participated in the launch of the comprehensive sexuality education manual for young people titled “KnowItOwnItLiveIt,” a product of the Planned Parents Association of Ghana (PPAG) and Marie Stopes International Ghana (MSIG). We note that the GES also participated in the launch and were reported to be developing content for the project. Although there is no evidence that this document would be considered or treated as part of any proposed curriculum, it is difficult to divorce the circumstances surrounding its launch from the current discussions.

Further, we have seen what purports to be a Ghana Government and GES document (the foreword of which bears the following name and title “KWASI OPOKU-AMANKWA (PROF), DIRECTOR-GENERAL, GHANA EDUCATION SERVICE”) containing guidelines for CSE in Ghana, and which has modules for teaching CSE from Pre-school to SHS. Page 8 of this document discloses that “the choice of topics is informed by the six features of CSE in the Bogota Declaration of 2010,” the first of which is captured as “Respect for human rights and diversity with sexuality education affirmed as a right.” The Report issued in Bogota, Colombia in December 2010 and, titled “Comprehensive Sexuality Education: Advancing Human Rights, Gender Equality and Improved Sexual and Reproductive Health,” contains and endorses aspects of sexuality that some Ghanaians might object to.

We have also seen the Teacher Resource Pack of the National Council for Curriculum and Assessment (NaCCA), titled “RESOURCE GUIDE FOR THE ORIENTATION OF PRIMARY SCHOOL TEACHERS TOWARDS THE IMPLEMENTATION OF THE REVISED CURRICULUM FOR PRIMARY SCHOOLS,” and it states at page 11 that CSE was one of the “contemporary issues addressed through the National Pre-Tertiary Curriculum Framework (NPCF).”

It is these and more that make it difficult to accept the Minister’s claim that CSE is not part of the approved curriculum. Even if it has not been formally approved, it is definitely under consideration. Our view is that the time is ripe for full and frank disclosure and a full-throttled debate on the matter and path going forward.

Ghanaians deserve and demand clarity on this once and for all. Specifically, we demand the following:

1. A definite position of the Government on the introduction of a CSE curriculum in our schools;

2. Before any approval or implementation, key stakeholders, including parents, traditional leaders and faith-based organisations must be actively engaged and involved in discussions surrounding it, so that the final product fully reflects our Ghanaian cultural and religious values;

3. If CSE is to be approved for implementation, then the Ministry of Education and Ghana Education Service must publish the detailed contents of the materials via traditional media channels, websites or/and social media; and

4. Parents must be given an “opt out” option for their wards. Parents whose wards remain in the programme must be supplied the same teaching material that the teachers would use and then constantly engaged by the teachers, so that the parents would emphasise their peculiar cultural, religious and other values to their wards as they are exposed to the topics being taught in school.

It should be clear to the Government that Ghanaians will not accept any CSE or other initiative that is suspected or believed to be the work of any foreign bodies, and which does not reflect our cultural and religious values, and public concerns. We believe that the education of Ghana’s future leaders in relevant subject areas is necessary to build a holistic character in them.

Yours in the service of God and Country