Supreme Court throws out injunction against anti-gay bill

A nine-member Supreme Court panel presided over by Chief Justice Gertrude Torkonoo has dismissed a request that it halts Parliament’s consideration of the anti-gay bill.

The court says it has not been convinced to issue such an order at this stage since the matters raised will be dealt with in the substantive case.

This is the court’s decision in a case filed by researcher Dr Amanda Odoi who is alleging parliament’s work on the proposed law is in breach of the constitution. Dr Odoi’s legal team additionally withdrew the case of contempt filed against the Speaker of Parliament.

Dr Odoi is one of two citizens who have sued the Speaker of Parliament and the Attorney General over the Anti-LGBT bill.

She contends her checks show that the Speaker of Parliament has been served with all relevant court processes including one asking the court to place an injunction on parliament’s consideration of the law. She says despite this, the Speaker caused the Bill to proceed to its Second Reading in Parliament.

“That by his conduct in directing or causing Parliament to proceed to a Second Reading of the Bill, in full knowledge of the pending suit and related interlocutory injunction application, the Respondent has disregarded and disrespected the authority of this Court.

That such disregard interferes with the outcome of the pending litigation, brings the administration of justice into disrepute and undermines public Ck side de in the judicial system”

The court on Wednesday heard legal arguments on the issue of whether the case should be put on hold. The Speaker of Parliament was not present himself but his legal team was led by Thaddeus Sory.

Lawyers for Dr Odoi were the first to address the court. Lead counsel Dr Ernest Ako insisted it was important for the court to put the consideration in parliament on hold.

“Per the nature of the provision of article 108…assuming this bill goes through and becomes law and money is expended from the consolidated fund, we would not get the money back meanwhile Ghanaians would not get the millions that would have been spent on this law.”

“If the application is granted and Parliament does not proceed and the substantive matter is determined, parliament would just have suffered a little by not proceeding with the bill in the interim,” he stated.

Chief State Attorney Dr Sylvia Aduse told the court Dr Odoi’s legal team have failed to show how they will suffer or which right of theirs should be protected in the interim.

“He should have proved this balance of convenience well but we have not seen any evidence of that. The speaker is doing his duty and cannot be injuncted.” She said.

Lawyer for the Speaker Thaddeus Sory urged the court to dismiss the request.

“We pray that this application doesn’t satisfy any of the tests as set by this court and should be dismissed.”.

The panel presided over by the Chief Justice Indicated a case meriting an injunction has not been made.

“We have considered the merits of this case and are of the considered view that a prima facie case has not been made to convince us to injunct the work of parliament.

“Neither have we been convinced to injunct an uncompleted work of parliament. The issues raised by this application for injunction are matters to be determined by the substantive matter. This application for an injunction is dismissed.” The Chief Justice stated.

Other panel members are Paul Baffoe-Bonnie, Gabriel Pwamang, Mariama Owusu, Henrietta Mensa-Bonsu, Yonny Kulendi, Barbara Ackah-Yensu, Samuel Asiedu, George Koomson”.

Dr Odoi’s legal team have meanwhile withdrawn the contempt case filed against the Speaker of Parliament.


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