May 28, 2022

Supreme Court dismisses review application challenging Dep. Speaker voting rights

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A nine-member review panel of the Supreme Court has unanimously dismissed an application for review of its earlier judgement on the voting rights of a deputy speaker or a member presiding in parliament.

The court presided over by Justice Jones Dotse in its short ruling said the application for review falls short of the threshold needed to warrant a review.

The Applicant contends that, there is a miscarriage of justice in the judgement which warrant that it is reviewed.

Diana Asonaba Dapaah, a Deputy Attorney General, arguing on the point of law said no new matter or exceptional circumstances had been raised to warrant a review.

She said, the application is unmeritorious and abuse of court processes and prayed for the application to be dismissed.

The panel of Justice Jones Dotse, Justice Nene Amegatcher, Justixe Prof. Nii Ashie Kotey, Justice Mariama Owusu, Justice Lovelance Johnson, Justice Gertrude Torkornoo, Justice Clemence Honyenuga, Justice Henrietta Mensah-Bonsu and Justice Yonni Kolendi subsequently dismissed it.

Review notion

Private Legal practitioner Justice Abdulai has filed an application at the Supreme Court seeking a review of the court’s judgement that, a Deputy Speaker of Parliament has a voting right while presiding.

The Applicant contends that, there is a miscarriage of justice in the judgement which warrant that it is reviewed.

A seven member panel of the apex court presided over by Justice Jones Victor Dotse in a unanimous judgement on March 9, 2022 said the budget approval of November 31 was valid.

In a motion on notice for review of the apex court anchored on Article 133 of the 1992 Constitution and Rule 54(a) of C.I16, the plaintiff is seeking a review of the ordinary panel’s judgement on March 9

The Applicant contends that, the following are the exceptional circumstances that the court should look at and review their decision.

  1. a) Failure of the Ordinary Bench to consider the legislative antecedents in Ghana on the original vote of a Deputy Speaker (or any person) presiding in Parliament, as borne out in the 1957 Constitution (Order in Council); the Parliament Act, 1965, (Act 300); and continuous effect of the Constitution (consequential and transitional) provisions Decree, 1969, (NLCD 406);
  2. Failure of the Ordinary Bench to consider Article 297(h) of the Constitution and Section 10 of the Parliament Act, 1965, (Act 300) in interpreting Articles 295(2) and 104(2) of the Constitution, which consequently led it to the holding that a reference to the Speaker of Parliament cannot be a reference to the Deputy Speaker of Parliament;
  3. Failure of the Ordinary Bench to consider the saving clause in Article 104(1) in interpreting Articles 102 and 104(1) of the Constitution, whichconsequently led it to the holding that a Deputy Speaker can be countedaspart of quorum in determining matters in Parliament.

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