Prime News Ghana

Anti-LGBTQI bill: Supreme Court grants Richard Sky’s request to file new motion

By Primenewsghana
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The Supreme Court has directed lawyers representing the individual seeking to prevent President Akufo-Addo from assenting to the Human and Sexual Rights and Family Values Bill, also known as the anti-gay bill, to submit a fresh motion with supporting affidavit and statement of case for an interlocutory injunction related to the substantive suit.

A five-member panel of the apex court, chaired by Justice Gertrude Torkornoo, also set a deadline of May 17 for the lawyers of the Speaker of Parliament and the Attorney General to file their respective processes.

When the case, initiated by broadcaster Richard Sky, was brought before the court today (May 8, 2024), the main agenda was to address fundamental issues hindering progress on the substantive case.

The plaintiff's legal team, led by Paa Kwesi Abaidoo, sought the court's permission to file supplementary affidavits in support of their injunction and to amend their reliefs.

However, Thaddeus Sory, counsel for the Speaker of Parliament, raised a preliminary legal objection to the motion, arguing that the proposed amendments to the reliefs were contradictory to his objections.

In response, the court dismissed the preliminary objection, stating that it was unnecessary and did not assist the court in any meaningful way. Justice Torkornoo emphasized that all parties have the right to present their arguments and processes before the court accurately.

Regarding language usage, the Supreme Court expressed concern about the language employed by both the plaintiff and the Speaker of Parliament's legal team, deeming it inappropriate and scandalous.

Justice Torkonoo specifically mentioned the term "these persons" used by the plaintiff to refer to private members and highlighted the use of "despicable" and "desecration" in the Speaker of Parliament's processes.

The court urged all parties to use courteous language in their submissions.

The substantive suit filed at the Supreme Court seeks to restrain the Speaker and Clerk of Parliament from presenting the bill to the President for assent.

It also seeks an injunction against enforcing the bill, particularly the provision criminalizing same-sex relationships.

Further declarations in the suit argue that the anti-gay bill violates various constitutional provisions, including Article 12(1), Article 15(1), Article 18(2), Article 17(1), and Article 21(a) and (b). The plaintiff also seeks a declaration that Parliament lacked the necessary quorum when passing the bill, as stipulated in Articles 102 and 104 of the Constitution.