Court Throws Out Kweku Baako Over Charlotte Osei
The Supreme Court has struck out the suit challenging the legality of the dismissal of Charlotte Osei, former chairperson of the Electoral Commission (EC).
Mr. Baako had argued that Mrs. Osei was not impeached based on the performance of her core functions as the EC Chairperson.
But the seven member panel of Judges hearing the suit held that the original jurisdiction of the court has not been properly invoked.
The court presided over by Justice Julius Ansah stated that no issue of constitutional interpretation has come up in the instant case.
Abdul Malik Kweku Baako Jnr. Editor of the New Crusading Guide Newspaper sued the state over the dismissal of the former Commissioner of the Election Body seeking an interpretation of Article 146 of the 1992 Constitution.
In court yesterday, Samson Lardi Ayenini, lawyer for Mr. Baako told the court that the parties in the matter have been unable to agree on the memorandum of issues for trial by the court.
The panel of judges noted that the News File Host has not properly invoked the jurisdiction of the court adding that there was nothing for the court to interpret.
But Mr. Ayenini disagreed insisting that the plaintiff has demonstrated in his reliefs that there was an issue for interpretation.
He said article 146(1) was clear and that the invalidity of the petition for the removal of Mrs. Osei had occasioned the matter.
Kwwku Baako’s lawyer said the decision of the Chief Justices Committee was one formed from the compliant of law.
However, the judges were of the view that the lawyer has failed to convince the Bench
Godfred Yeboah Dame, Deputy Attorney General, representing the Attorney General said there was no ambiguity or lack of clarity in article 146.
He noted that if the plaintiff believes the CJ’s Committee has erred, he could appeal the ruling of the committee by filing for judicial review.
While urging the judges to dismiss the case he stated that article 11 of the constitution also enjoins judges to respect the laws of the country.
Speaking to journalists after the proceedings, the New Crusading Guide editor said “the highest Court of the land has spoken; I am not convinced but I accept the verdict.”
The 18 reliefs that were being sought by Mr. Baako included a declaration that upon a true and proper construction of Article 146 (1) of the 1992 Constitution, a petition for the removal of the chairperson of the EC, pursuant to the provisions of Article 146, was only valid if such a petition alleged stated misbehaviour or incompetence relating to the performance of the core constitutional functions of the chairperson of the EC.
He was also seeking a declaration that the finding by the Chief Justice (CJ) that a prima facie case had been made out in respect of six allegations contained in the petition for the removal of Mrs Osei pursuant to Article 146 of the Constitution and which allegations were not founded on acts of stated misbehaviour or incompetence against Mrs Osei in the performance of her core functions as Chairperson of the EC was unconstitutional, null, void and of no effect.
The same act was inconsistent with and in violation of the provisions of Article 296 Clause (c) of the 1992 Constitution and accordingly arbitrary and unconstitutional.
Mr. Baako further prayed the court to rule that the CJ exercised an administrative rather than the functions and duties of a judge or judicial officer.
By Jeffrey De-Graft Johnson, GIJ Student