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Dela Sky files suit at Supreme Court to challenge Speaker – Minority rejection of 2022 budget

A Ghanaian citizen, Richard Sky, has file a suit at the Supreme Court challenging the purported rejection of the 2022 budget by 137 MPs.

A Ghanaian citizen, resident in the Ga West Municipal Assembly in Accra, Richard Sky, has invoked the original jurisdiction of Supreme Court seeking a declaration that the decision of the Speaker of Parliament to allow 137 members of the House to determine the approval or rejection of the 2022 budget statement and economic policy of government, was unconstitutional, null and void as same breached article 104 of the 1992 constitution of the Republic.

According to the applicant (Richard Sky) the Speaker of Parliament failed to comply with the provisions of Article 104(1) of the Constitution 1992 of the Republic of Ghana which states that “except as otherwise provided in this Constitution, matters in Parliament shall be determined by the votes of the majority of members present and voting, with at least half of all the members of Parliament present”

Speaker / Minority Action

Parliament on the 26th of November 2021 presided over by the Rt. Hon. Speaker, Alban Kingsford Somana Bagbin, and consisting of the Minority side of the eighth parliament ( 137 out of the total of 275 members), in a voice vote, rejected the 2022 Budget Statement and Economic Policy of the government.

Majority Position

The Majority Caucus in Parliament on the other hand, called on Ghanaians to disregard the 26 November 2021 decision of the Minority side of Parliament to reject the 2022 Budget Statement and Economic Policy of government presented to the House by the Finance Minister, Ken Ofori-Atta on the Authority of the President of the Republic, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo.

In a statement issued after the 26th November Parliamentary proceedings, the Majority Caucus notified the Ghanaian public to “disregard the decision by Speaker Alban Bagbin, that 137 members of Parliament have the power to take a decision for Parliament and have consequently rejected the 2022 Budget Statement and Economic Policy of the Government of Ghana”.

Across the media landscape, political science analyst and constitutional law experts have questioned the legality of the decision of the minority side in Parliament purportedly rejecting the 2022 budget statement.

Budget Approved

Parliament consisting of the one hundred and thirty-eight (138) members of the Majority caucus today the 30 of November 2021 reversed the 26 of November 2021 decision of the minority and subsequently went ahead to approve the 2022 budget statement.

Reliefs Sought

In his suit numbered: J1/5/2022,  and filed at 8:40am on the 30th of November 2021, Richard Sky, is seeking five (5) reliefs from the Supreme Court, three of which are in the form of declarations and two in the form of orders.

First he is seeking “a declaration that upon a true and proper interpretation of Article 104(1) of the Constitution 1992 of the Republic of Ghana, the Speaker of Parliament shall, unless otherwise required by the Constitution 1992, at all material times ensure that at least half of all the Members of Parliament of Ghana is present in Parliament at the time of a determination of any matter by Parliament.

Second, he is praying the Supreme Court for “a declaration that upon a true and proper interpretation of Article 104(1) of the Constitution 1992 of the Republic of Ghana the Speaker of Parliament’s decision on 26th November 2021 to invite Members of Parliament of Ghana to determine the matter of whether or not to accept or reject the 2022 Budget Statement and Economic Policy of the Government of Ghana, when he knew or ought to have known that at all material times there were less than half of all the Members of Parliament of Ghana present, violated Article 104(1) of the Constitution 1992 of the Republic of Ghana, especially so when the Speaker had announced immediately before the vote was taken that there were 137 Members of Parliament of Ghana present in Parliament out of the total number of 275 Members of Parliament of Ghana”.

The third is “a declaration that upon a true and proper interpretation of Article 104(1) of the Constitution 1992 of the Republic of Ghana, the purported determination by 137 Members of Parliament of Ghana out of the total number of 275 Members of Parliament of Ghana on 26th November 2021, purporting to reject the 2022 Budget Statement and Economic Policy of the Government of Ghana, violated Article 104 (1) of the Constitution 1992 of the Republic of Ghana”.

The fourth relief is “an order setting aside the purported vote by 137 Members of Parliament of Ghana out of the total number of 275 Members of Parliament of Ghana on 26th November 2021, which vote purported to reject the 2022 Budget Statement and Economic Policy of the Government of Ghana, for violating Article 104(1) of the Constitution 1992 of the Republic of Ghana”.

The applicant’s fifth relief sought is “a declaration that the Speaker of Parliament’s failure to comply with the provisions of Article 104(1) of the Constitution 1992 of the Republic of Ghana violated the Speaker’s oath as set out in the second Schedule of the Constitution 1992 of the Republic of Ghana, which demands of the Speaker of Parliament to uphold, preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the Republic of Ghana”.

Mr Sky further prays the court to give “any other or further Order(s) and or Direction(s) that” the “Honourable Court may consider appropriate to give effect or enable effect to be given to any Order(s) and or Declaration(s) that may be made by this Honourable Court”.

Source: Asaaseradio

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