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I’ll seek review - Justice Abdulai

BY: Albert K. Salia
Justice Abdulai
Justice Abdulai

The plaintiff, who sought the Supreme Court’s interpretation on the voting rights of Deputy Speakers of Parliament when presiding, has stated that he is working on a review application for the consideration of the Supreme Court.

Mr Justice Abdulai expressed the hope that the Supreme Court would find more favourable reasoning on the review application, stressing that “I pray that the seven members will change their minds completely.”

“These are reasonable people, seasoned people. So, if they take a decision that does not go in favour of a section of society and there is a more cogent argument, I think they are humble enough to admit where they go wrong and where they think their mind was rightly made, they will affirm the previous decision.

“And if they affirm it, I will strongly urge all of us to take it up and buy into it and then forge ahead as a country in unison. Because that will be the new law and we have to abide by it,” he stated in an interview with the Daily Graphic.

Context

Last Wednesday, the Supreme Court ruled that Deputy Speakers, presiding over proceedings in Parliament, had the right to vote on matters and to be counted as part of the quorum for decision-making in Parliament.

The decision generated a lot of diverse opinions especially among members of the Minority in Parliament, sections of academia and other stakeholders.

Amendment

Mr Abdulai said if the Supreme Court affirmed its earlier decision, he would continuously recommend appropriate amendments to the Constitution to ensure that “we have Deputy Speakers elected almost in the same line as we have the Speaker elected.

“They will be a lot more impartial and possibly neutral in their decision making. That way, I believe no single political party can control them.

To that extent, you will have the best of them rather than what we are used to where Deputy Speakers take decisions that are more aligned to their political affiliation than being in line with the national interest.

Mr Abdulai said the ruling on the interpretation of Articles 102 and 104 of the 1992 Constitution of Ghana by the highest court of the country was not definite on the Deputy Speakers casting vote when the need arose on the floor of the House.

“This issue about the Deputy Speaker and the substantive Speaker being one, and the same, is something that I thought the Supreme Court should have made a firm pronouncement on,” he said.

Accept ruling

Mr Abdulai, therefore, urged Ghanaians of all sides of the divide to accept the Supreme Court ruling while he explored the possibilities of getting the Supreme Court to review its decision.

“We do not have to descend on them (judges) simply because their decision is not in tandem with what majority of us or some section of us expected. I think that is wrong way of going about it,” he stated.

He said one of the reasons he went to the Supreme Court was to ensure that “we get an acceptable decision that will not necessarily be tainted with political colourisation.

“That is why I decided to go to the Supreme Court without having to wait for a member of the New Patriotic Party (NPP) or the National Democratic Congress (NDC) or a sponsored person from either of these political parties to go to the Supreme Court,” he stated.

Mr Abdulai said he had hoped that the decision would have a certain level of acceptability throughout the nation.

“Sadly, it appears that part of the objective has been defeated. It appears the decision has rather polarised the country the more. I am definitely not happy with that,” he stated.