A member of the Convention People’s Party (CPP), James Kwabena Bomfeh, a.k.a Kabila, has filed a suit at the Supreme Court, seeking to prevent government from partaking in the construction of the 5,000-seater national cathedral.
He wants an interlocutory injunction to restrain the government or any of its representatives from being involved in or taking any steps towards the construction of the cathedral, including the demolition of residences of justices of the Superior Courts.
Mr. Bomfeh also doesn’t want the government to commence “any civil works for the construction of the Ghana National Cathedral; and/or taking any action, measure or step preliminary or incidental to the construction of the Ghana National Cathedral.”
President Nana Akufo-Addo cut the sod for the construction of the national cathedral on March 6, 2017, as part of events that marked Ghana’s 60th-anniversary celebration.
Funding for the project is to be sourced from individuals within the Christian community.
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Mr Bomfeh had earlier in March 2017 filed a similar suit at the Supreme Court to challenge the decision to build the cathedral.
He had argued that Ghana as a secular state must not be seen to be getting involved in religious activities such as building a Christian Cathedral and facilitating Muslims’ pilgrimage to Mecca.
In that writ, he was seeking “a declaration that the decision of the Government of Ghana to purposely endorse, assist, aid, partly sponsor, and/or support the construction of a National Cathedral near the State House of Ghana, for Christian interdenominational church services amounts to an excessive entanglement of the Republic of Ghana and religion and therefore unconstitutional”.
Outcome of previous suit hanging
The first legal action by Mr. Bomfeh did not end with a definite decision. The Supreme Court at its last sitting on the matter in July 2017, adjourned the case sine die (without a specified date).
The seven-member panel of judges presided over by now retired Justice William Atuguba, said the panel was not the one to hear the suit initiated by Mr. Bomfeh.
He had said at the time that a new panel should be put in place to hear the case, and Justice Atuguba accordingly adjourned the case sine die. The Attorney General was represented by Ms Grace Oppong, a principal state attorney, while one Abdul Baasit Aziz Bamba appeared for Kabilla.