General News Mon, 1 Sep 2008

Chieftaincy Act against Constitution - Nana Ampofo

Accra, Sept. 1, GNA - Nana Adjei Ampofo, an Accra Legal Practitioner, is challenging the constitutionality of some sections of the Chieftaincy Act at the Supreme Court (SC). In a writ filed at the court's registry on Friday against the Attorney-General and the President of the National House of Chiefs, Nana Ampofo said Section 63 of the Chieftaincy Act (Act 759) was in contravention of the spirit and letter of the 1992 Constitution.

Nana Ampofo stated that sub-sections b, d and e of Section 63 of the Act encroached on liberty generally and freedom of movement in particular of Ghanaians and accordingly contravened Articles 14 and 21 of the Constitution. Articles 14 and 21 of the Constitution deal with the Fundamental Human Rights and Freedoms of individuals. Sub-sections b, d and e of the Chieftaincy Act stipulate that "a person who being a chief assumes a position that the person is not entitled to by custom; deliberately refuses to honour a call from a chief to attend to an issue; and refuses to undertake communal labour announced by a chief without reasonable cause; commits an offence and is liable on summary conviction to a fine, or to a term of imprisonment, or to both.


Nana Ampofo, a former traditional ruler who filed the suit in his capacity as a citizen of Ghana, is seeking a declaration from the SC that those sub-sections of the Chieftaincy Act, "are legally vague, and accordingly inconsistent with the spirit and letter of Articles 14 and 21 of the Constitution."

Accordingly, he is praying the court for an order "to delete, expunge, or strike out the said sub-sections from the said Act on grounds of their unconstitutionality". The Superior and Higher Courts are on legal vacation and when they come back from recess in October, the SC will then fix a date and consequently go into the merits of the writ. 1 Sept. 08

Source: GNA