A Centre for Democratic Development (CDD) Fellow on Law and Justice, Prof Kwaku Asare has explained some irregularities in the ruling of the Supreme Court restraining Assin North MP James Gyakye Quayson from performing parliamentary duties.
In a Facebook post, Prof Kwaku Asare said: "The grant of the injunction is not just irregular on its face but it also reduces the SC to a forum for enforcing a high court judgment, which is still subject to appeal, and which even the prevailing party is raising questions about".
Below is the full post:
The law is clear that when an issue of constitutional interpretation arises a court must stay proceedings and refer the matter to the Supreme Court.
In the Assin-North matter, the plaintiff objected and the trial judge overruled the defendant’s prayer to stay proceedings and refer article 94(2)(a) to the Supreme Court for interpretation.
Having objected and got the trial court to deny the defendant’s prayer, the plaintiff has now gone to the Supreme Court with a writ to seek an interpretation of article 94(2)(a).
The plaintiff’s writ by itself should be enough for the SC to arrest the high court judgment.
But rather than such an arrest, the SC has injuncted the MP, pursuant to a high court judgment that the prevailing party himself is implicitly alleging was per incuriam because it raised an issue of constitutional interpretation that should have been referred to the SC.
The grant of the injunction is not just irregular on its face but it also reduces the SC to a forum for enforcing a high court judgment, which is still subject to appeal, and which even the prevailing party is raising questions about.
Furthermore, it is entirely inconsistent with Wulensi (Nyimakan case), Ayawaso West Wuogon (Amoo case), and other cases that have sought the injunction of a constitutional officer.
What irreparable harm will the plaintiff suffer by allowing the MP to stay in office for a few more days, especially if the Court is inclined to provide a true and proper interpretation of article 94(2)(a)?
How does a Court that is supposed to interpret an article of the Constitution start by setting aside the voters’ wishes even before it has been briefed by the parties?
The Court’s interlocutory injunction in this matter is entirely unjustified and appears to allow it to insert itself in a matter that is still making its rounds in the appellate process.
These are some of the judicial oddities that probably led the national security advisor to issue his recent warning.