CREATION OF NEW REGIONS: SUPREME COURT DISMISSES “UNCONSTITUTIONALITY” SUIT VO

A seven member Supreme Court panel presided over by Justice Sophia Adeniyira has dismissed the suit challenging the constitutionally of government’s decision to create six new regions.

The Applicants in the action, Mayor Agebleze, Destiny Awlimey and Jean-Claude Amenyaoglo, were essentially seeking interpretation of Article 5 subsection 4 of the 1992 Constitution.

Article 5 subsection 4 of the 1992 Constitution states that

“Where a commission of inquiry appointed under clause (2) and (3) of this article finds that there is the need and a substantial demand for the creation, alteration or merger referred to in either of those clauses, it shall recommend to the President that a referendum be held, specifying the sues to be determined by the referendum and the places where the referendum should be held”.

The three applicants challenging the legality of creating six new districts argued that the recommendations of the Justice Brobbey Commission on the upcoming referendum should be carried out in the areas affected by the proposed regions and not the entire regions affected by the possible division making it unconstitutional.

At the last Court sitting, Deputy Attorney General, Godfred Yeboah Dame, representing the State; lawyer for the Electoral Commission, Justin Amenuvor, and Albert Quashigah, lawyer for the Applicants, all told the Supreme Court that they rely entirely on the addresses they have filed in court. Their submissions paved way for the judgement of the Court as delivered Wednesday.

In the written address filed by lawyers of the EC, they argued that, “what the Plaintiffs in the case are asking the Supreme Court to do is to twist, alter and insert words into clear, precise and unambiguous provisions of the Constitution to suit their case.

“We submit that this is an unnecessary invitation to this court; it is not supported by our constitutional provisions or the jurisprudence of this court and we invite Your Lordships to decline this invitation. My Lords, we submit that on this point alone, this action ought to be dismissed in limine and with costs,” the address said.

The Deputy Attorney General in his argument in the written address showed that the Plaintiffs have woefully failed to show any such unconstitutionality or illegality, and called for the instant action to be dismissed”.

In their Unanimous Decision, read by Justice Professor Nii Ashie Kotey, the Supreme Court said they agree with lawyer for the Electoral Commission, Justin Amenuvor and the Deputy Attorney General, Godfred Yeboah Dame, that Article 5(4) of the 1992 Constitution is clear in meaning, with no ambiguity whatsoever. Therefore there was nothing to interpret. The Supreme Court subsequently ruled that the Justice Brobbey Commission’s recommendation stands and dismissed the Plaintiff’s application.