SC dismisses Abronye DC’s suit against 10 current, former MPs

The Supreme Court (SC) has dismissed a suit by the National Patriotic Party(NPP) Bono East Regional Chairman, Kwame Baffoe, also known as Abronye DC, against 10 current and former Members of Parliament (MP’s).

In a unanimous ruling yesterday, the seven-member panel presided over by Justice Nene Amegatcher upheld the preliminary objection by Assistant State Attorney Reginald Nii Odoi that the court’s jurisdiction was not properly invoked by the plaintiff.

“After carefully reviewing and hearing counsel in open court, we agree that our jurisdiction has not been properly invoked. The articles referred to require no interpretation.

The plaintiff’s remedy lies in another forum.   Despite the frivolous nature of this case, we are minded not to award costs because of our decision not to do so in constitutional matters so as not to discourage people from seeking interpretation from the court,” Justice Amegatcher said.

Kwame Baffoehad gone to the SC, invoking its original jurisdiction for the interpretation of Article 98 of the 1992 Constitution.

He contended that the former National Democratic Congress (NDC) ministers and deputy ministers between 2009 and 2016, who were also MPs, drew double salaries in contravention of Article 98 of the constitution and was seeking an order from the court for the said MPs to refund the double salaries they received.

Article 98 prohibits MPs from holding any other office of profit or emolument, be it private or public, and whether directly or indirectly, unless with the permission of the Speaker of Parliament and on the grounds that the conflict-of-interest concerns are not triggered and that the MPs core responsibilities are not prejudiced.

The 12 defendants were: former and current MPs, were Minority Leader, Haruna Iddrisu, Alhassan Azong, Fifi Fiavi Kwetey, Eric Opoku, Abdul Rashid Hassan Pelpuo, Emmanuel Armah Kofi Buah, Edwin Nii Lantey Vanderpuye, Mark Owen Woyongo, Comfort Doyoe Ghanasah, and Aquinas Tawiah Quansah.

The others were the Attorney- General (A-G) and the Controller and Accountant General.

The A-G raised a preliminary objection arguing that the jurisdiction of the court had not been properly invoked since the said constitutional provision is clear and did not require interpretation.

It said the plaintiff had other avenues to seek redress on the matter, but the reliefs sought by the plaintiff was not of an interpretation or enforcement nature and therefore did not properly invoke the jurisdiction of the highest court.

Justice Amegatcher, joined by panel members Prof Justice Ashie Kotey, Justice Mariama Owusu, Justice Gertrude Torkonoo, Justice Mensah Bonsu, Justice AmaduTanko and Justice Emmanuel Yonny Kulendi agreed with the A-G’s position.


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