A Private Legal Practitioner and Plaintiff in the case that sought the Supreme Court’s interpretation on the voting rights of Deputy Speakers of Parliament when presiding, Justice Abdulai has filed for a review of the judgment.
According to him, the verdict of the Court constitutes exceptional circumstances that resulted in the miscarriage of Justice. In his statement of the case, Mr. Abdulai added that there has been a discovery of new and important matter or evidence which, after the exercise of due diligence, was not within the applicant’s knowledge or could not be produced by him at the time when the decision was given.
The Supreme Court on Wednesday, March 9, ruled that Deputy Speakers presiding over proceedings in Parliament have the right to vote on matters and to be counted as part of the quorum for decision-making in the House.
The decision was greeted with disagreement by the Minority Members of Parliament, the Speaker, Alban Bagbin, as well as Former President, John Dramani Mahama. The Speaker of Parliament Alban Bagbin further urged Justice Abdulai to seek a review.
Mr. Abdulai in his review application, argues that the Apex Court, in adjudicating the matter, failed to consider legislative antecedents before making its final judgment.
He avers that due to the obscure nature of the 1992 Constitution relating to the voting rights of Deputy Speakers, it was important for the court to look at legislative antecedents of Articles 102, 104 (1) & (2), 295(2)(a) of the constitution which came out of 1957, 1960, 1969, and 1979 Constitutions and other relevant laws to ensure fairness and justice.
He is contending that this would have revealed to the Ordinary Bench of the Court that the original vote of a Deputy Speaker once existed in Ghana’s Parliament, but was repealed by NLCD 406 and never returned.
He further contends that it would have also revealed to the Justices of the Court that none of Ghana’s past Constitutions or enactments ever allowed a Deputy Speaker or a person presiding in Parliament to participate in the quorum of Parliament.
The failure of the Ordinary Bench to consider the above broader context in interpreting the Constitution made them arrive at a decision that is inconsistent with the intention of the Framers of the 1992 Constitution. This according to Plaintiff, constitutes an exceptional circumstance that occasions miscarriage of justice.
Justice Abdulai argues that the judgment therefore ought to be reviewed.
The review application will be heard on 26th April 2022.