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Supreme Court dismisses CENCORD’s motion

supreme court dismisses cencord's motion

THE Supreme Court on May 26, 2011 threw out a motion filed by the Centre for Constitutional Order (CENCORD) to restrain a member of the Council of State, Mr J.H. Owusu-Acheampong, from holding himself as the Campaign Manager for President J.E.A. Mills in his contest for the 2012 flag-bearer slot of the National Democratic Congress (NDC).
“The applicant has not shown that Mr Owusu-Achempong has threatened to act or is acting in his new position. These are prerequisites for the grant of interim injunction,” the Presiding Judge, Mr Justice William Atuguba, declared after counsel for CENCORD had failed to convince the court to grant the application for injunction.
“There is no clear articulation of thought. In the circumstance, we find it difficult to grant the application for interim injunction. The application is, accordingly, dismissed,” the court held in a unanimous decision.
Other members of the panel were Ms Justice Sophia Akuffo, Professor Justice F.K. Date-Bah, Mr Justice Julius Ansah, Mrs Justice Sophia Adinyira, Ms Justice Rose Owusu, Mr Justice B.T. Aryeetey, Mr Justice N.S. Gbadegbe and Ms Justice Vida Akoto-Bamfo.
Counsel for CENCORD, Mr Dennis Ofosu-Appiah Ofosuapea, had earlier been subjected to a barrage of questions from panel members when he moved the motion.
In the substantive suit, CENCORD is challenging the President’s decision to appoint Mr Owusu-Acheampong as his Campaign Manager for the NDC flag-bearer contest for Election 2012.
The Supreme Court is expected to hear the suit on a latter date.
The applicant, who joined the Attorney-General and Minister of Justice along with the President and Mr Owusu-Acheampong in the suit, is claiming that the appointment of Mr Owusu-Acheampong and the acceptance of same by him “are acts that are inconsistent with or in contravention of the letter and spirit of the 1992 Constitution and more particularly articles 2 (1) (b); 3 (4) (a); 41 (b) and 89 (1) (2) (c) thereof”.
The plaintiff, who is invoking the original jurisdiction of the Supreme Court, is also praying the court to grant an order prohibiting any sitting President from deploying members of the Council of State for partisan undertakings.
Moving his motion for interim injunction, counsel argued that Mr Owusu-Acheampong could not act in partisan politics because he was elected member of the Council of State.
According to him, Mr Owusu-Acheampong’s acceptance of President Mills’s appointment amounted to annoyance.
Counsel had earlier been granted leave by the court to move his motion, although it was of the view he should have filed for an interlocutory, and not interim, injunction.
Mr Justice Atuguba questioned counsel whether or not a sitting President could be sued, to which Mr Ofosuapea replied in the affirmative, adding that the President could be sued as a substantive President and not in an acting position.
It could be adduced from the questions from panel members that they were dissatisfied with the way and manner Mr Ofosuapea articulated his case.
They were particularly disappointed at his virtually giving them the same answers which implied that the President had breached the Constitution.
The panel members, after deliberating among themselves, unanimously dismissed counsel’s application.
No costs were awarded.

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