Richard Sky goes to Supreme Court over 2022 budget approval ‘gymnastics’

Written by on December 1, 2021

The rejection and subsequent approval of the 2022 budget in Parliament have been challenged at the Supreme Court, as lawyer and ace broadcaster, Richard Dela Sky, has gone to the Supreme Court to seek clarity on the matter.

Mr. Sky has filed two separate suits at the Supreme Court, invoking the interpretative and enforcement jurisdiction of the nation’s apex Court over the purported rejection and subsequent approval of the policy document.

In a statement, Mr. Richard Sky said: “Like many other citizens of Ghana, I strongly believe that the questionable processes used to purportedly reject and the subsequent purported approval of the 2022 Budget Statement and Economic Policy of the Government of Ghana have done various forms of substantial violence to cardinal provisions of the 1992 Constitution of the Republic of Ghana.”

“The two writs, filed separately in the last 48 hours, are in unwavering defence of our constitution, constitutionalism and the rule of law,” he said.

The private legal practitioner explained that he decided to seek finality on the matter because he believes firmly that, “a sin by any person, institution or organ of state against the Constitution of the Republic of Ghana constitutes a grievous violation of the collective will of the good people of Ghana”.

Reliefs sought in the first suit

In his first suit, which focuses on the rejection of the 2022 budget on November 26, 2021, Mr. Sky, is, among other things, seeking from the Supreme Court a declaration that upon a true and proper interpretation of Article 104(1) of the 1992 Constitution of the Republic of Ghana, the Speaker of Parliament shall, unless otherwise required by the 1992 Constitution, at all material times ensure that at least half of all the Members of Parliament of Ghana are present in Parliament at the time of a determination of any matter by Parliament.

He also is seeking a declaration that upon a true and proper interpretation of Article 104(1) of the Constitution, the Speaker of Parliament’s decision on 26th November 2021 to invite MPs to determine the matter of whether or not to accept or reject the 2022 Budget Statement and Economic Policy of the Government of Ghana, when he [Alban Bagbin] knew or ought to have known that at all material times there were less than half of all the Members of Parliament present, violated Article 104(1) of the Constitution, especially so when the Speaker had announced immediately before the vote was taken that there were 137 Members of Parliament of Ghana present in Parliament out of the total number of 275 Members of Parliament of Ghana.

He is, in all, seeking six reliefs in the first suit.

Reliefs sought in the second suit

In his second suit which focuses on powers of Deputy Speakers, Mr. Sky wants the apex court to give a declaration that upon a true and proper interpretation of Articles 95(1), 96(1), 101, and 104 (1) and the spirit of the Constitution 1992 of the Republic of Ghana, pertaining to the incidental independence of the Speaker, the term ‘Speaker’ applies to any other person, including a Deputy Speaker, entitled to preside over proceedings to determine any matter in the Parliament of the Republic of Ghana.

“A declaration that upon a true and proper interpretation of Articles 95(1), 96(1), 101, and 104 (1) and the spirit of the Constitution 1992 of the Republic of Ghana, pertaining to the incidental independence of the Speaker, anytime a Deputy Speaker of Parliament or any other Member of Ghana’s Parliament presides over the proceedings of Parliament, he or she forfeits the right to be counted as part of Members of Parliament of Ghana present at the time of the determination of any matter before Parliament.”

He further wants a declaration that upon a true and proper interpretation of Articles 95(1), 96(1), 101, and 104 (1) and the spirit of the Constitution, pertaining to the incidental independence of the Speaker, the First Deputy Speaker of Parliament [Joseph Osei Owusu] knew or ought to have known that on 30th November 2021, when he presided as Speaker of Parliament, he was disqualified from adding himself to the 137 Members of Ghana’s Parliament present in Parliament at the time Parliament was to determine whether or not to approve the 2022 Budget Statement and Economic Policy of the Government of Ghana.

He also wants an Order setting aside the purported vote by Parliament on 30th November 2021, which vote purported to approve the 2022 Budget and Economic Policy Statement of the Government of Ghana for violating the relevant provisions of Article 104(1) and the spirit of the Constitution 1992 of the Republic of Ghana.

In this suit, Mr. Sky is seeking five reliefs.

Background

The Minority side in Parliament last Friday threw out the 2022 budget statement after the Majority Caucus staged a walkout.

The Minority had insisted that the 2022 budget in its current form is not in the best interest of Ghanaians and thus requested for a revised budget.

Members on the Majority Caucus on Tuesday, November 30, 2021, also overturned the earlier decision by the Minority and approved the policy document.

A number of Ghanaians have lambasted their representatives in Parliament for subjecting the budget into such legal gymnastics.

Gpower Radio/Bernard Kofi Sekyi


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