SC asks state, applicant to file memorandum of agreed issues.

The Supreme Court (SC) yesterday, gave the state, and James Kwabena Bomfeh, a member of the Convention People’s Party (CPP), who sued the government over its decision to build a national cathedral one week to file memorandum of agreed issues.

The seven-member panel of judges, presided by Justice Julius Ansah, urged the state and the applicant to file early to ensure expeditious trial.

Both counsel for the applicant, Dr. Basit Aziz Bamba, and the state, being represented by a deputy Attorney-General and Minister of Justice (A-G), Godfred Yeboah-Dame, told the court the memorandum of issues were already dealt with and said the documents would be filed at the court’s registry.

The court was silent on Mr. Bomfeh’s application for interlocutory injunction on the proposed cathedral, but when the deputy A-G asked if the application has been dispensed, the judges noted that the application was still pending.

Mr. Bomfeh filed a writ on March 10, 2017, and urged the apex court to declare the decision of government to construct a non-denominational cathedral unconstitutional.

It is the case of the applicant that government had no business in religious activities, including support to Muslim pilgrims who visit Makkah to worship Allah (God) every year.

He is therefore, seeking a declaration that the decision of the government of Ghana to purposely endorse, assist, aid, partly sponsor, and /or support the construction of National Cathedral near the State House for Christian interdenominational church services amounted to “an excessive entanglement of the Republic of Ghana and therefore unconstitutional”.

Mr. Bomfeh is also seeking a declaration that the setting up of a Hajj board by the government for the purpose of coordinating, supporting, and /or aiding Ghanaian Muslims to embark on religious pilgrimage to Makkah is unconstitutional.

President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo on Monday, March 6 cut the sod for construction of a national cathedral in Accra.

The cathedral, which will serve as an interdenominational worship centre, is to be constructed on the premises of the Scholarship Secretariat, near the Parliament House.

The President performed the sod cutting ceremony whilst on his way to the 60th Anniversary celebration of Ghana’s independence at the Black Star Square.

Addressing the parade, President Akufo-Addo said the construction of the cathedral “is meant to be a gesture of thanksgiving to the Almighty for the blessings he has showered and continues to shower on our nation”.

According to him, the construction of the cathedral has been supported by many of the leading religious figures.

But, the decision was not without controversy as some people including religious leaders have kicked against it.

The case has been adjourned to November 6.

BY MALIK SULLEMANA

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