Rastafarian saga: Applicant not a student of Achimota School – AG

Godfred Dame

Mr Godfred Yeboah Dame, the Attorney General and Minister of Justice, has challenged the action of Tyron Iras Marghuy, one of the Rastafarian Students, who was allegedly denied admission by the Achimota School.

The AG raised a preliminary legal objection to the capacity of Marghuy to initiate the action of suing the parties.

Mr Dame, who moved an application on the capacity of the plaintiff, said the applicant could not institute such an action against the School in the first place.

“The applicant has failed to submit the admission forms based on which he can be deemed a student of the Achimota School,” he said.

The AG said the filling of the School’s admission form, signing it and further submitting it to the school was the basis of which one could become a student of the School but the applicant had not done so.

He said it was consequent on the approval of the said forms that an individual could earn the title of a student.

Mr Dame said the signing and presenting the admission form constituted the basis of any relationship between the applicant and the School.

He argued that the applicant’s action was based on human rights enforcement and Article 33 (1) of the 1992 Constitution, which meant that the Court’s jurisdiction of the human rights action was linked to a contravention or a prospective contravention of his rights.

He said if an individual was not properly admitted to the School, he or she could not question the violation of that right.

The AG said, the requirements checklist of all the students, who had complied with the school’s rule was clear but the applicant’s name was not part.

He said the applicant raised issues about the constitutionality of his rights but only the Supreme Court has the appropriate forum to decide that and not the High Court.

Mr Dame said the applicant did not mention the rights that were violated but rather concentrated on the rights that would likely be violated and that could not be the matter.

Mr James Guaga Nkrumah, Counsel for the applicant, disagreed with the AG, indicating that the applicant could initiate the action because the applicant was given an admission offer form to the School.

He said there was an acceptance of the offer from his client and therefore, the State could not say he was not a student.

The Counsel said there was a breach of the applicant’s rights and the applicant was properly before the Court.

Mr Nkrumah said his client had completed the acceptance form and signed but it was at the point of submission that the issue in contention arose.

He argued that his client’s rights were breached.

The Counsel said his client ought to be in school but was at home due to the action taken by the Achimota School and his client had the right to education.

The Human Rights Division of the Accra High Court presided over by Justice Gifty Agyei Addo, adjourned the matter to May 31, 2021, for a ruling.

Source: GNA

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