Supreme Court Dismisses Review Application On Deputy Speakers Right To Vote
The Supreme Court in a unanimous decision has dismissed a case filed by a private legal practitioner, Justice Abdulai.
The application sought to compel the apex court to review its earlier decision that Deputy Speakers presiding over proceedings in Parliament can vote.
On March 9, 2022, in a unanimous decision, a seven-member panel of the apex court held that a Deputy Speaker of Parliament presiding over proceedings in the House has the right to vote on matters for determination, and also be counted as part of the quorum for decision-making.
Consequently, the highest court of the land has ruled as valid the passage of the 2022 budget by Parliament on November 30, 2021, during which the First Deputy Speaker, Mr Joseph Osei-Owusu, who was presiding, counted himself as part of the quorum that made that decision.
Also, the Supreme Court declared as unconstitutional, Order 109 (3) of the Standing Orders of Parliament which barred a Deputy Speaker, who is presiding over proceedings, from voting on any issue for determination.
Grave Miscarriage of Justice Vs Abuse Of Court Process
Lawyer Abdulai who filed the matter headed back to the Supreme Court insisting the ruling contained “errors of laws which have occasioned a grave miscarriage of justice on the people of Ghana”.
In opposing the review application, Deputy Attorney General Diana Asonaba pointed out that it was an abuse of the court processes since it failed to show any exceptional circumstances that should have been considered.
“The long reference to previous constitutions does not meet the criteria for a review application. The plaintiff has failed to show how a miscarriage of justice has occasioned or showed any new matter that should have been considered. Present application is unmeritorious and a clear abuse of the court process”, she said.
The Court presiding over by Justice Jones Dotse ruled that the Deputy Speaker of Parliament’s participation in voting was constitutional.
“The application is accordingly dismissed,” Justice Dotse said.
The review case was heard by a nine-member review panel comprising Justices Dotse, Nene Amegatcher, Prof Ashie Kotey, Lovelace Johnson, Mariama Owusu, Celemenfe Honyenuga, Gertrude Torkonoo, Prof. Mensah Bonsu and Emmanuel Kulendi.