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General News Tue, 12 Apr 2022

Deputy Speaker’s voting: I’m fortified to seek review, Speaker, deputies are one – Justice Abdulai

Justice Abdulai is going back to court

He is seeking a judicial review over a recent Supreme Court decision

He indicated that both Speaker and Deputies are one


Justice Abdulai, a private legal practitioner, is going to seek a judicial review over a recent Supreme Court ruling that Deputy Speakers of Parliament can vote while presiding.

He argues that the office of the Deputy Speakers is merely an extension of the Speaker’s thus they are one and the same.

So, whatever rule applies to the Speaker must likewise apply to a presiding Deputy Speaker in equal measure.

The Supreme Court had in a March 9 ruling stated that the Deputy Speakers were representing constituents, therefore, denying them the right to vote was akin to disenfranchising their constituents.

But speaking on JoyNews’ PM Express, Abdulai explained, “The moment you become a Deputy Speaker of Parliament, you’re no longer an ordinary member of Parliament.

"And the constitution says it so clear under Article 297(h) provides so clear that ‘while directing or empowering a public officer to do any act or thing otherwise applying to him by the designation of his office include his successors in office and all his deputies and assistants.’

“Now the implication of this is that when referring to a public officer, his deputies or any person acting in that office are one and the same, so in other words, they have the same authority, they have the same powers, they have the same literally everything."

He continued: “And it gets worse when you move on to Article 295(2), it deepens this position that I have just read out in Article 297 when it says that ‘a reference to the holder of an office by the term designating his office shall unless the context otherwise requires to be construed as including a reference to the person for the time being lawfully acting or performing the functions of that office.’

“Now the combination of these two provisions makes the office of the Speaker and his deputies, as far as the constitution is concerned, one and the same this is why as I indicated earlier that person is unable to occupy any ministerial position.”

Justice Abdulai, however, noted that, with the plethora of resources he has accessed, he is more fortified to be successful in his review.

“I feel strongly in my position that considering the judicial antecedents to our present circumstances. We have a lot of information that could have guided all of us; myself, the Attorney General and the Supreme Court for that matter in coming out with the decision that they came up with.

“I think because we are all bereft with those litanies of information, it’s the basis for the decision that resulted on the 9th of March. And I think that having a second look at that decision will inure to the benefit of all of us as Ghanaians in particular,” he said.

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Source: www.ghanaweb.com
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