Supreme Court throws out Mahama Ayariga, over Planting for Food and Jobs, other initiatives

BY: Emmanuel Ebo Hawkson
 Mr Mahama Ayariga
Mr Mahama Ayariga

The Supreme Court has struck out a suit by the National Democratic Congress (NDC) Member of Parliament (MP) for Bawku Central, Mr Mahama Ayariga, against the government over the implementation of some initiatives such as the free senior high school, Planting for Food and Jobs and the Ghana Education Trust Fund (GETFund).

Other initiatives that he challenged were the Infrastructure for Poverty (IPEP), the School Feeding Programme, the National Afforestation Programme, the Zongo Development Fund, as well as the operations of agencies such as the Microfinance and Small Loans Centre (MASLOC).

A seven-member panel of the court, presided over by the Chief Justice, Ms Justice Sophia Akuffo, yesterday threw out the case due to Mr Ayariga's lack of interest after filing it.

“The case is struck out for want of prosecution,” the court held.

Other members of the panel were Justices Sophia Adinyera, Jones Dotse, Paul Baffoe-Bonnie, Sule Gbadegbe, Gabriel Pwamang and Agnes A. Dordzie.

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Why Ayariga went to court

In his suit filed in March 2018 against the Attorney-General (A-G), Mr Ayariga argued that the implementation of the programmes and the operation of the agencies were unlawful because the government had failed to lay regulations that would spell out their operational modalities before Parliament.

Subsequently, he was seeking an order from the court that would compel the President or the relevant ministers to present the necessary legislation concerning the programmes to Parliament.

He was also seeking “an interim injunction restraining the President or his agent from implementing the initiatives until such time as the appropriate regulations to govern the implementation of the said initiatives are also approved by Parliament”.

“Ayariga's lack of interest”

When the case was called yesterday, neither Mr Ayariga nor his counsel was in court.

A Chief State Attorney, Mr Sylvester Williams, informed the court that all his attempts to get in touch with Mr Ayariga for the two parties to agree on a memorandum of issues had yielded no fruits.

He showed the court a letter dated October 2, 2018 which he wrote to Mr Ayariga's office and explained that Mr Ayariga had not replied any of his correspondences.

The Chief Justice then asked the court registrar if he had notified Mr Ayariga that the case would be heard yesterday, to which the registrar answered in the affirmative.

Subsequently, the court struck out the case for want of prosecution.

Writer’s email: emma.hawkson@