The Supreme Court will later today [Wednesday, March 16, 2022] give its judgment in the case of broadcaster Richard Dela Sky and the Attorney General.
Richard Sky is contesting last year’s dramatic rejection and subsequent approval of government’s 2022 budget by Parliament citing issues of quorum.
The journalist filed two separate suits at the Supreme Court in December 2021, invoking the interpretative and enforcement jurisdiction of the nation’s apex Court over the purported rejection and subsequent approval of the policy document.
In a statement, Mr. Richard Sky said: “Like many other citizens of Ghana, I strongly believe that the questionable processes used to purportedly reject and the subsequent purported approval of the 2022 Budget Statement and Economic Policy of the Government of Ghana have done various forms of substantial violence to cardinal provisions of the 1992 Constitution of the Republic of Ghana.”
“The two writs, filed separately, are in unwavering defence of our constitution, constitutionalism, and the rule of law,” he said.
In the suit, which focuses on the rejection of the 2022 budget on November 26, 2021, Mr. Sky, is, among other things, seeking from the Supreme Court a declaration that upon a true and proper interpretation of Article 104(1) of the 1992 Constitution of the Republic of Ghana, the Speaker of Parliament shall, unless otherwise required by the 1992 Constitution, at all material times ensure that at least half of all the Members of Parliament of Ghana are present in Parliament at the time of a determination of any matter by Parliament.
He also is seeking a declaration that upon a true and proper interpretation of Article 104(1) of the Constitution, the Speaker of Parliament’s decision on 26th November 2021 to invite MPs to determine the matter of whether or not to accept or reject the 2022 Budget Statement and Economic Policy of the Government of Ghana, when he [Alban Bagbin] knew or ought to have known that at all material times there were less than half of all the Members of Parliament present, violated Article 104(1) of the Constitution, especially so when the Speaker had announced immediately before the vote was taken that there were 137 Members of Parliament of Ghana present in Parliament out of the total number of 275 Members of Parliament of Ghana.
In a similar case last week, the Supreme Court pronounced, allowing a presiding deputy speaker or Member of parliament to be part of the quorum for business, and also, to vote on business of the house.
The decision has since sparked intense constitutional debate in the court of public opinion. It remains unclear how much influence the Justice Abdulai judgment will have on Mr. Sky’s judgment.