Attorney General, Godfred Yeboah Dame

The Attorney-General and Minister for Justice, Godfred Dame says he applied for a speedy hearing of the injunction application by the South Dayi MP, Rockson-Nelson Dafeamekpor against the approval of President Nana Akufo-Addo’s ministerial nominees.

His comment follows criticisms by the National Democratic Congress (NDC) against Chief Justice Gertrude Torkornoo, in the scheduling of political cases at the Supreme Court.

The NDC accused the judicial service of bias, questioning why the MP’s application filed on March 18th will be heard earlier than that of journalist, Richard Dela Sky filed on March 5, 2024.

But addressing journalists on Wednesday after the Supreme Court dismissed the application, Mr Dame explained that the court act and constitution allows it.

He said, he cannot comprehend the criticism against the Supreme Court for hearing the matter quickly.

“The duty to fix the date for the hearing rests with the registry of the Supreme Court and I do not understand where this business of people actually scrutinizing when applications are fixed for hearing or why this case has not been fixed for hearing, came from.

“Back in the day, if you file an application in the Supreme Court of Ghana it takes you even three months for you to get a date for a hearing. It is only after a party has made an application for an expeditious determination of the process that the matter will come up for hearing. Even the record shows that in this particular case, I specifically applied for an expeditious determination of the matter so it is not the Supreme Court of Ghana picking and choosing which case they should hear and not to hear.

“My first application for an expedited hearing of a matter in the Supreme Court,  I did it way back in 2006  and I did another one in 2013 when we were in opposition. So it is always the prerogative of the Supreme Court registry to fix applications for hearing and if the date for the hearing has not been fixed or it is too far, it is incumbent on  the party to apply to the CJ in accordance with the court act and constitution for an expedited hearing.”

When asked why it appears he is taking an interest in only matters that favor the government and not filing for an expedited hearing in the application against the anti-gay bill, Mr Dame said “we have filed a relevant affidavit in opposition in that matter, so I think all these comments are unwanted and indeed are baseless. We actually filed our opposition to the affidavit in answer to the Richard Sky matter before we filed the affidavit in answer today to this one.

“It is most instructive that Parliament itself was opposed to this application for interlocutory injunction by Dafeamekpor and I find it very interesting because the same Speaker of Parliament who earlier on adjourned proceedings in my view wrongly, on account of the pendency of this application then later on somersaulted and came to the Supreme Court and opposed the application and that is a point of interest to me.  I think it shows clearly that the application clearly was frivolous and it ought not to be any manipulation of what went on in court, even Parliament itself was opposed to the application.”

He added “It is most unfortunate that persons who file processes before the court and then fail to take an interest in it. Indeed even when the same application for interlocutory injunction is pending or has not been determined, a day before they proceed to go and file another application for interlocutory injunction, there cannot be a greater demonstration of a desire to abuse the court process than this. Clearly, it shows an attempt to frustrate the Republic from pursuing its business and all. That is why it is necessary that as lawyers for the Republic, we take a keen interest in what happens and we make sure that such things are dealt with so that the state business can proceed.”

In his lawsuit against the Speaker of Parliament (1st defendant) and the Attorney General (2nd defendant), Mr. Dafeamekpor argued that the President should have sought parliamentary approval before reassigning ministers whose appointments were revoked.

However, the application was deemed frivolous and an abuse of court processes by the apex court.

Despite the absence of Mr Dafeamekpor and his lawyer, the court proceeded with the case and ruled against it.

The five judges who presided over the case were Justice Kingsley Koomson, Justice Mariama Owusu, Chief Justice Gertrude Torkonoo (Presiding), Justice Amadu Tanko, and Justice Yaw Darko Asare.

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DISCLAIMER: The Views, Comments, Opinions, Contributions and Statements made by Readers and Contributors on this platform do not necessarily represent the views or policy of Multimedia Group Limited.