A High Court in Accra has received a writ asking it to place an injunction on Parliament from taking any further steps to pass into law the Promotion of Proper Human Sexual Rights And Ghanaian Family Values Bill also known as the LGBT Bill.
The plaintiff argues that as a matter of law, whereas it is a constitutional and statutory requirement that a private member’s bill shall be accompanied by a fiscal impact analysis when it is laid before Parliament for passage, this particular Promotion of Proper Human Sexual Rights And Ghanaian Family Values Bill, though a private member’s bill is not accompanied by any fiscal impact analysis.
The plaintiff, a Kumasi based farmer by name, Paul Boamah Sefa, cites section 100(1)of Public Financial Management Act, 2016 (Act 921), as the ground for seeking the injunction and in his writ, indicts Parliament of flouting the said Act.
Parliament’s Constitutional, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs Committee has already urged the House to pass the bill into law but the plaintiff, in his argument says that because the Bill has financial implications that would be paid from the Consolidated Fund, the constitution mandates that it should be accompanied by a fiscal impact analysis document which is missing.
He says in the absence of a fiscal impact analysis document, a private member’s Bill that has financial implications on the State, is null and void therefore the Courts should place an injunction on the passage of the Bill.
Paul Boamah Sefa has therefore dragged the Speaker of Parliament, Alban Bagbin and the Attorney General Godfred Yeboah Dame to court over the matter.
Paul Boama Sefa explained in his writ that by a letter with reference number PS/CCLPA/21/20, the Chairman of the Committee on Constitutional, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs of Parliament requested the Attorney General to “provide the Government’s position on the said Bill and that by another letter dated 19th October, 2022 the Attorney General provided his response to the Committee.
He said in the said letter of response, the Attorney General detailed the Government’s official position on the Bill, including the need to protect human rights and adhere to the statutory requirements for laying a Private Members’ Bill in Parliament.
He said in the response the Attorney General stated that: “It is observed that the Bill is not accompanied by a fiscal impact analysis required by section 100(1) of Act 921. The stipulation in section 100(1) of Act 921 is rendered more imperative by the character of the Bill as a private members Bill’
According to the plaintiff this statutory requirement was not met and has still not been met.
He states further that this non-compliance with the statutory requirements relating to the laying of the Bill and the complete disregard of the Attorney General’s advice indicates an intention by the Speaker of Parliament not to comply with the express provisions of Act 921 and by extension the laws of Ghana.
- He said Article 100 of the 1992 Constitution, gives authority and empowers the Speaker, as the person presiding over Parliament, to manage and direct the affairs of Parliament and also places a responsibility on him to ensure compliance with proceduresprescribed by statute in parliamentary proceedings when he is presiding.
The plaintiff alleges that the Speaker has intentionally failed and/or neglected to perform his lawful duty to enforce or ensure compliance with section 100(1) of Act 921.
He insists the Speaker has exhibited, by his public utterances and conduct on numerous occasions, his determination to allow the Bill to go through the legislative process despite being fully aware of the statutory conditions precedent for laying the Bill.
He continued in his submission that allowing the Bill to proceed without ensuring compliance with the aforementioned statutory conditions precedent will set a bad precedent for law-making processes in Parliament and erode the rule of law.
The former is therefore asking the Courts to declare that by the failure of the Speaker to perform this non-discretionary obligation and the failure of the Attorney General to insist and ensure that the requirement that the Bill be accompanied by a fiscal impact analysis when it was first laid before Parliament was complied with, has rendered all processes in respect of the Bill to date invalid and void, by reason of illegality.
He is therefore seeing an Order to restrain the Speaker, his deputies, his agents, assigns and privies from proceeding with any processes related to the Bill until the statutory provisions
of section 100(1) of the Public Financial Management Act, 2016 (Act 921) are complied with.
The plaintiff is also seeking an Order directing the Speaker, his deputies, his agents, assigns and privies to ensure compliance with section 100(1) of the Public Financial Management Act, 2016 (Act 921) before any further steps are taken in respect of the Bill
The plaintiff further seeks a perpetual Injunction restraining the Defendants from further breaches of the Public Financial Management Act, 2016 (Act 921).
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