General News of Thursday, 3 January 2013

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Statement: FGJ Supports Mr Bernard Mornah’s Writ

Press Statement: FGJ Supports Mr Bernard Mornah’s Writ Seeking To Nullify Sections Of C.I.74

January 2013

The Forum for Governance and Justice (FGJ) fully supports the intent of the writ filed by Mr. Bernard at the Supreme Court of Ghana seeking: a) A declaration that on a true and proper interpretation of articles 133, 157, 93(2) and 11 of the 1992 Constitution; Rule 71B and a part of Rule 69C(5) of the Supreme Court (Amendment) Rules, 2012 (C.I.74) are unconstitutional and must be declared null and void and of no effect.

Clearly, the Constitution of the Republic of Ghana is the supreme law of the land. Thus, any other law that is inconsistent, contradicts or contravenes any section of the Constitution, must be void. Indeed, the Constitution itself states in article 1 (2) that “This Constitution shall be the supreme law of Ghana and any other law found to be inconsistent with any provision of this Constitution shall, to the extent of the inconsistency, be void”.

The Constitution states further in article 2 (1) that “A person who alleges that — (a) an enactment or anything contained in or done, under the authority of that or any other enactment; or b) any act or omission of any person; is inconsistent with, or is in contravention of a provision of this Constitution, may bring an action in the Supreme Court for a declaration to that effect. Surely, Mr. Mornah has availed himself to a right granted him by the Constitution.

Let us also use this opportunity to encourage our fellow citizens to actively play their various roles in promoting the growth of our democratic culture in ways that will not disrupt the peace, unity and stability of our nation. May we all be, at all times, mindful of our duties and responsibilities as outlined in article 41 of the Constitution, which states that, “The exercise and enjoyment of rights and freedoms is inseparable from the performance of duties and obligations, and accordingly, it shall be the duty of every citizen — (a) to promote the prestige and good name of Ghana and respect the symbols of the nation; (b) to uphold and defend this Constitution and the law.

Obviously, democracy requires the active participation of the people, as citizens, in civic life. However, whiles democracy depends on citizen participation in this and other ways, such participation must be peaceful, and respectful of the supreme law of the land.

Signed Dr. Clement Apaak Convener, Forum for Governance and Justice - Ghana 020 011 7620