The Roads Minister, Kwesi Amoako Atta, has locked out the Chief Executive of Ghana Highways Authority, Victor Owusu, in a move to force him out of office.
Mr. Owusu maintains his appointment has not been revoked by the president although he is due for retirement.
According to him, he reported to work on Thursday at 7:30 am to find a carpenter and the Estate manager changing the locks.
Days before, he had received a letter from the Ministry of Roads and Highways recommending Ernest Jojo Arthur as the new Chief Executive.
The second paragraph of the letter, however, stated a formal appointment letter is yet to be issued to the purported new boss.
“If you don’t have an appointment letter why come and take over”, he said he asked the new boss whom he said admitted he is yet to receive an appointment letter.
Mr. Owusu said the new boss has been ‘paraded’ before the staff last Wednesday and has also parked his car in his parking space.
But the Board chairman, he said, has insisted the CEO stays in the absence of an official letter appointing Ernest Arthur.
The CEO said the Highway Authority Act makes him a political appointee of the president who may renew his tenure despite reaching retirement age two days ago.
“We want to serve our nation. We are also patriotic citizens” he said.
“It is the President who appoints and approves. It is not any sector minister or whatever,” he quoted Section 18(1) of the Ghana Highways Authority Act 1997.
“The president hasn’t revoked that appointment yet so technically I am still the Chief Executive,” he said dismissing the Minister’s act to relieve him of his post.
He said after the forceful lock-out Thursday morning, ‘I came home and prayed’.
Reacting to the forceful removal from office, the Deputy Roads and Highways Minister, Anthony Abayifa Karbo, said he found media discussion of the incident unfortunate.
He suggested the matter not be discussed on air and said the ministry and the CEO will use internal processes to resolve any misunderstanding.
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