Kabila Sues Akufo-Addo Over Church and Hajj
The Supreme Court has granted a motion for extension of time filed by the Attorney General in the suit brought against the erection of a National Cathedral.
The court, presided over by Justice Gabriel Pwuamang, said the Attorney General has ten days within which to file.
This paves the way for the AG to file its statement of case in the matter.
James Kwabena Bomfeh Jnr. (known in political circles as Kabila), Director of Elections for the Convention People’s Party (CPP), has sued the President over the edifice.
The Plaintiff, suing the President through the Attorney General, is invoking the original jurisdiction of the court to declare that it is wrong for organs of State to be excessively entangled in any religion or religious practice.
The President recently cut sod for the building of the cathedral on the premises of the Scholarship Secretariat, near the State House in Accra; and it is expected to serve as the venue for formal occasions of State and other national events, as well as an interdenominational worship center.
President Akufo-Addo is reported to have said that the building “is a gesture of thanksgiving to the Almighty for the blessings He has showered and continues to shower on our nation.”
It is a legacy project in commemoration of Ghana’s 60thindependence anniversary.
Prior to the sod cutting ceremony, Nana Akufo-Addo had also appointed Sheik I.C. Quaye, a former Greater Accra Regional Minister, as head of an 11-member Hajj Board to oversee the organization of the annual Hajj.
But Mr. Bomfeh, who is also the spokesperson for Ivor Kobina Greenstreet, presidential candidate for the CPP in the 2016 elections, is challenging the legality of the project.
Kabila, who claims through his lawyers – led by Abdul Baasit Aziz Bamba – that he is bringing the action in his capacity as a citizen of the country, wants the apex court to declare that the government cannot embark on the project.
“A declaration that by the core values, basic structures and the nature of the 1992 Constitution and upon a combined and contextual interpretation of the letter and spirit of the Constitution, particularly Articles 21(b)(c), 35(1)(5)(6)(a), (37)(1) and or 56, it is unconstitutional for Ghana through its organs of government, ministries, agencies, departments and/or authorized representatives to purposely aid, endorse, sponsor, support, offer preferential governmental promotion of, and/or be excessively entangled in any religion or religious practice,” the writ indicates.
Mr. Bomfeh, who was once CPP former National Youth Organiser, also seeks a declaration that the setting up of a Hajj Board by the government for the purposes of coordinating, supporting and/or aiding Ghanaian Muslims to embark on a religious pilgrimage to Mecca [Hajj, one of the pillars of Islam] amounts to purposely adding, endorsing, supporting and/or offering preferential governmental promotion of, and/or excessive entanglement of Ghana with a religion or religious practice and thus unconstitutional.
Aside any further orders, Kabila also wants the Supreme Court to declare that the decision by the government to purposely endorse, assist, aid, partly sponsor and/or the construction of a National Cathedral near the State House of Ghana for Christian Interdenominational Church services amounts to an excessive entanglement of the country in religion which is unconstitutional.
By: Jeffrey De-Graft Johnson