Supreme Court orders Speaker to take oath of President

Doe Adjaho - Speaker
Doe Adjaho – Speaker

The Supreme Court on Thursday ordered the Speaker of Parliament, Mr Edward Doe Adjaho to take the Oath of the President anytime he acts in that capacity.

The Court in a unanimous decision declared that the Speaker violated the constitution when he declined to take the oath of the office as President in the absence of the President.

The nine member panel noted that the Speaker’s refusal to take the Oath of the President on November 5 and 7, 2014 contravened Article 60 (11) and (12) of the 1992 Constitution.

The panel led by Justice Sophia Akuffo declared: “Following a true and proper interpretation of the Article 60 (11) and (12) of the 1992 Constitution, the Speaker of Parliament, shall always subscribe to the oath of the President before assuming the functions of the President”.

The Court made the declaration in a consolidated matter brought before the Supreme Court by Mr Samuel Atta Mensah, Chief Executive Officer of an Accra based radio station, CITI FM and Professor Stephen Kweku Asare, a US based Ghanaian lawyer.

According to the Court “the issue as to whether or not the Speaker committed a high crime by not taking the Presidential Oath was not properly before the Court,” hence it declined to grant that.

Other reliefs rejected by the Supreme Court were that the Speaker committed a high crime anytime he refused to take the oath.

Article 60 (11) and (12) of the 1992 Constitution states that: “(11) Where the President and the Vice-President are both unable to perform the functions of the President, the Speaker of Parliament shall perform those functions until the President or the Vice-President is able to perform those functions or a new President assumes office, as the case may be.

“(12) The Speaker shall, before commencing to perform the functions of the President under clause (11) of this article, take and subscribe the oath set out in relation to the office of President.”

The Chief Justice, Mrs Georgina Theodora Georgina Wood, on two occasions in July this year went to Parliament to swear-in the Speaker in the absence of President John Dramani Mahama and his Vice Paa Kwesi Amissah-Arthur.

The Speaker on those occasions refused to be sworn in despite accepting to act as President saying the there was no point in repeating an oath he had taken in September 2013.

Source: GNA

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