Legal practitioner Samson Lardy Anyenini says that although ex parte applications for injunctions are standard practice, the order granted the police against the May 9 #FixTheCountry demonstration is strange.

Speaking on Top Story he stated that in standard practice an ex parte injunction is expected to last for a period of essentially 10 days, giving the respondents a chance to also state their case.

However, this injunction is perpetual, he said, explaining that it is expected to last as long as there is an Imposition of Restriction Act that bans large public gatherings.

“Remember the President is empowered by the Imposition of Restrictions Act to, from time to time, issue such EI which will operate and it brings us to a very important argument that we commented on when they were debating this.”

“There is a pandemic and everywhere else in the world there are pandemic specific legislation. Here in Ghana and perhaps only in Ghana, the legislation is not pandemic specific, it is a law that will live until the government says it doesn’t want it, or it is challenged in the Supreme Court and thrown out, so that is what we have to deal with now.”

His comment comes after the Ghana Police Service secured a restraining order from a High Court to bar some agitated youth from embarking on a planned protest this Sunday.

This was shortly after National Security Officer met the convenors of the #FixTheCountry movement on Thursday where dialogue was had over the concerns which were built up during the social media uproar.

The order granted by Justice Ruby Aryeetey prevents the group from taking such action on the said day “or any other date until the restriction on public gathering is lifted.”

However, reacting to the injunction, said that “there is every thing strange about the length of the subsistence of the prohibition as granted by the court, with the greatest of respect to the court there is a problem.”

Mr Anyenini referenced the Republic vs Circuit Court Ex parte Gifty Oware Aboagye and the interested parties, Inspector-General of Police and the Attorney General stating that the judge, Justice Dennis Adjei was mindful of the abuse or breach of the rules of natural justice that could occur should the injunction be granted.

Justice Dennis Adjei said in his ruling that “it would be unfair to use an ex parte application to initiate an action whose outcome would affect the rights of other people and once it is granted, the action terminates. Such a crude approach should not be encouraged in a democratic society as the Police in their Ex parte application may depose to False information which may persuade the courts to grant the application.”

Mr Anyenini explained that although the judge’s decision is not binding to another high court, it is for a reason that ex parte applications are granted for a limited period according to the rules (10 days).

“Also know that when Justice Dennis Adjei was advancing the very legal point, he was minded by the fact that this appears to be the only situation where you just get up and the first initiation process you take to court is an injunction application, otherwise injunction applications must be borne out of a subsisting process in the court.”

“There must be an originating process in the court already then on the back of that you initiate an injunction application. But, this takes a special way granted through this process and yet it’s being used in this way in what I may say is very bizarre.”