The Supreme Court yesterday struck out the writ filed against the former President, John Dramani Mahama, for appointing Mr. Joseph Whittal as the Commissioner of the Commission on Human Rights and Administrative Justice (CHRAJ) and his two deputies.
The writ filed by Mr. Patrick Boamah, Member of Parliament for Okaikwei Central Constituency in the Greater Accra Region, was seeking “an order of perpetual injunction restraining the President through the 1st Defendant Attorney-General, from appointing or confirming or in any manner endorsing the appointment of the Commissioner and his two deputies under Article 70, of the 1992 Constitution, until the hearing and final determination of this matter”.
But the court’s action emanated from a notice filed by the MP to discontinue or withdraw the writ.
The Notice of Withdrawal read, “Please take notice that the above-named plaintiff (Hon. Patrick Boamah) hereby withdraws his writ against the Attorney-General and Minister of Justice, The Commission on Human Rights and Administrative Justice, and Mr. Joseph Whittal, the defendants in the above-mentioned suit”.
Other reliefs sought were “a declaration that accordingly, upon a true and proper construction of Articles 23 and 296, having regard to the fact that the term of the President expires in two weeks, the intended and indecent haste to appoint or confirm or endorse the appointment of the Commissioner of CHRAJ, is actuated by bad faith and malice thus is unconstitutional”.
“That upon a true and proper interpretation of Articles 70, 216 and 296 of the Constitution 1992, the President is required to make known to the public and well in advance of the intended appointment of the CHRAJ Commissioner and his two deputies, the names of the persons proposed to be appointed as such, in order for the public to be able to provide any relevant information on such persons, so as to assist the Council of State to efficiently perform their function of advising the President on the intended appointment.
“A declaration that upon a true and proper construction of Articles 70, 216, and 296 of the Constitution 1992, the requirement for the president to act in consultation with the Council of State, when appointing the Commissioner and two deputies of CHRAJ, implies the duty to act with candour, fairness and without prejudice.”
The court presided over by Madam Justice Sophia Akuffo, said, “We note that the plaintiff has filed a notice of withdrawal, withdrawing the writ herein in its entirety and counsel for the defendants have confirmed that they have been served.
“The court has no objection to the withdrawal and the writ herein is consequently struck out as withdrawn.”
No cost was awarded.
Other judges were, Justices Julius Ansah, Sophia Adinyira, Paul Baffoe-Bonnie, Sule Gbadegbe, Vida Akoto Bamfo and Anthony A. Benin.
By Castro Zangina-Tong