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Court discharges three Christ Embassy members prosecuted for flouting COVID-19 law

Christ Embassy Church 1 Christ Embassy Church, Ghana

Sat, 1 Jul 2023 Source:

The Accra Circuit Court has exonerated and discharged three members of the Christ Embassy Church who were arrested and dragged to court for breaking COVID-19 restrictions during a youth concert in 2021.

The three; Wilson Delali, Alex Asomani and Kumi Nutifafa were discharged after the circuit court ruled that the Imposition of Restrictions Acts, 2020 (Act 1012) has been declared unconstitutional by Ghana’s apex court.

The Imposition of Restrictions Acts, 2020 (Act 1012), is the law that gave legal basis to the offences levelled against the three.

The decision by the court was informed by an application of the lead counsel of the accused persons, Nana Banyin Ackon, who made a case that the decision of the Supreme Court to annul the Imposition of Restrictions Acts, 2020 (Act 1012), also meant that his clients were deemed to have not committed any offence in the first place and as such cannot be prosecuted.

“A nullified enactment is legally void and has no substance. It had no recognition or life under the law and that nothing can be founded on it, same shall collapse and no legal effect shall be given to it,” Ackon argued.

On May 31, 2023, a seven-member panel of the Supreme Court presided over by Justice Jones Dotse, unanimously declared Act 1012 as unconstitutional.

The Supreme Court explained that Act 1012 was nullified because it allowed the President to declare a state of emergency and impose restrictions without following legal procedures as stated by Article 31 of the 1992 Constitution

“We hold that Act 1012 is inconsistent with Articles 21 and 31 in so far as it deals with matters that are, more qualified for a declaration of a state of emergency, without recourse to Article 31. Article 31 is the gateway for dealing with public emergencies with such magnitude such as the Covid-19 pandemic. To the extent that Act 1012 contravenes Article 21, 31, 32, 58 (2) and 93(2) of the 1992 Constitution, we strike down Act 1012 as unconstitutional and therefore null and void,” the court held.

The other members of the panel include; Justices Nene Amegatcher, Prof. Nii Ashie-Kotey, Avril Lovelace–Johnson, Issifu Omoro Tanko Amadu, Prof. Joy Henrietta Mensa-Bonsu and Emmanuel Yonny Kulendi.


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