Commission of enquiry for the creation of new regions holds fourth hearing

Justice Stephen Allan Brobbey

The Commission of Enquiry for the Creation of Regions, on Tuesday held its fourth hearing in Accra with petitioners from Bono East in the Brong-Ahafo Region. 

This follows the Commission’s meeting with petitioners from the Ahafo Council, also of the Brong-Ahafo Region, on 23rd November 2017,  in Accra.

Justice Stephen Brobbey, Chairman of the Commission and a retired Supreme Court Judge, recalled that the Commission commenced its first set of hearings by meeting petitioners from the Western Region, Volta Region and the first group from the Brong-Ahafo Region, which happened on November 21st, 2017, November 22nd, 2017, and November 23rd, 2017, respectively.

“Today, I am pleased to welcome you, the Petitioners demanding the creation of Bono-East, out of the existing Brong-Ahafo,” he said.

Justice Brobbey said CI 105, by which the Commission was set up, required the Commission to inquire, pursuant to petitions, into the need and substantial demand, for the creation of new regions and thereby, the alteration of the Western Region, Brong-Ahafo Region, Northern Region and Volta Region.

He said the Commission was also to make recommendations to the President, based on its findings on the creation and alteration of regions.

It is also to specify issues to be determined by referendum and the places where the referendum should be held, where it makes recommendation for the creation and alteration of regions, he said.

“As had been the case in our previous hearings, the purpose of today’s meeting is to afford the Commission the opportunity to hear at first hand from you the Petitioners, demanding the creation of Bono East Region,” said Justice Brobbey.

He continued, “we will seek to understand the background to your petition, the issues you raised and any additional information which you may consider helpful to our work.”

Justice Brobbey said the exercise of creating a region under Article 5 of the 1992 Constitution was demand driven, “and so we have a duty to listen to you the people who have made the demand”.

He said by its terms of reference, the Commission was required to establish the need and substantial demand for the creation of a region.

“Today’s meeting is a start in that process with you,” said Justice Brobbey.

The Chairman of the Commission noted that this was the first time that the provisions of Article 5 of the 1992 Constitution on the creation or alteration of a region had been invoked.

“There is therefore a duty on all of us to ensure that we chart a course that is ultimately in the best interest of our people,” he said.

Currently, the hearings which have been organized for those who have already petitioned the President for the creation of the regions, take place in camera.

Justice Brobbey said this was to create a congenial atmosphere for the chiefs and elders who formed the bulk of petitioners, to feel free to give information on their demands.

Petitioners from Gonja Land in the Northern Region, would be heard by the Commission tomorrow, Wednesday, November 29th,2017, followed by petitioners from Mamprugu, also in the Northern Region, on December 5th, 2017, he said.

After the conclusion of the hearings of the six respective groups of petitioners which are all being held in Accra, the Commission would move to the regions for further consultations with the petitioners and members of the public, who wish to make presentations on the creation of regions on dates to be announced later to the public, the Chairman of the Commission said. 

Justice Brobbey said following the regional hearings, there would be final meetings in Accra again to hear presentations from those who would be unable to appear at the regional hearings, but who would still want to make presentations on the creation of regions.

The regional hearings and final meetings in Accra would not be conducted in camera, the Chairman of the Commission said.

The nine-member Commission was inaugurated by President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo Addo on October 19th, 2017, to examine petitions for the creation of new regions, and make recommendations to the government, based on its findings.

Source: GNA 

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