Supreme Court to hear religious discrimination case


The Supreme Court is set to hear a landmark case asking for a perpetual injunction restraining anybody or institution from condoning or forcing students of other faiths to participate in sectional religious activities.

A plaintiff Nii Lamptey has dragged Attorney-General to court seeking interpretation of 5 articles in the Constitution that seeks to define Ghana as a secular country with no state of official religion.

The suit which is requesting for 13 reliefs is the latest as claims of religious discrimination against Muslims in mission schools grab national attention.

President Mahama has warned that any head of mission school who tries to compel a non-Christian to attend church services or faith-based meetings will be sanctioned.

The Catholic Bishops’ Conference and the Christian Council have called off the President’s bluff saying the presidential threat was unwarranted.

The Christian groups want dialogue at the level of the National Peace Council to resolve any feeling of discrimination that may be simmering among some sections of the Muslim community.

The National Chief Imam has also called for calm and the need for dialogue

Read full suit below
IN THE SUPERIOR COURT OF JUDICATURE
IN THE SUPREME COURT OF GHANA
ACCRA- A.D. 2015
 SUIT NO………………
WRIT TO INVOKE THE ORIGINAL JURISDICTION OF THE SUPREME COURT

BETWEEN:
GERSHON NII LAMPTEY ……………………………PLAINTIFF
HSE. G355/2
LA,ACCRA
AND
THE ATTORNEY-GENERAL…………………………..  DEFENDANT
MINISTRY OF JUSTICE &
ATTORNEY- GENERAL’S DEPARTMENT
ACCRA
TO: THE REGISTRAR
       SUPREME COURT
       ACCRA
IN THE NAME OF THE REPUBLIC OF GHANA you are hereby commanded within fourteen (14) days after the service on you of the statement of the Plaintiff’s case inclusive of the day of service, that you are to file or cause to be filed for you a statement of the defendant’s case in an action at the suit of:

GERSHON NII LAMPTEY
HSE. G355/2
LA,ACCRA
The nature of the relief sought is as follows:

A declaration upon a true and proper interpretation of the letter and spirit of the Constitution particularly articles 17,21(1)(b)(c),35(1)(5)(6)(a),37(1) and/or 56  of the Constitution, the Republic of Ghana is a Secular Republic  and recognizes no  official or state religion and shall at all times maintain by itself, its organs of government, ministries, agencies, departments, etc, a posture of religious neutrality or balance in its dealings with all faiths;

A declaration that the practice by the Republic of Ghana through its organs of Government, ministries, agencies, departments, etc of sanctioning and endorsing partisan religious activities or offering preferential treatment to some religions during state, etc, events or activities when such treatment is not accorded all other religions in Ghana, particularly Islam and African Traditional Religion, on an equal footing is discriminatory and unjustifiable under the letter and spirit of articles 17,21(1)(b)(c),35(1)(5)(6)(a),37(1) and/or 56  of the Constitution;

A declaration that upon a true and proper interpretation of articles 17 and 33(5) the concept of minority rights, particularly a minority’s right to non-discrimination and special measures to protect its identity, constitute part and parcel of the fundamental human rights and freedoms guaranteed by the Ghanaian Constitution;

A declaration that upon a true and proper interpretation of the letter and spirit of the Constitution particularly articles 17,21(1)(b)(c),35(1),(5),(6)(a),37(1) and/or 5 of the Constitution, it is unreasonable, illegitimate and/or unlawful for students attending missions schools falling under the aegis of the Ghana Education Service and the Ministry of Education to be compelled under the guise of promoting school discipline to participate in religious activities endorsed and promoted by these mission  schools  when such students do not share the faiths proclaimed or promoted  by these mission schools.

A declaration that all schools in Ghana, whether private, public or state-sponsored( except religious schools set up primarily  to train students as ministers, etc, of particular religions) have a obligation to recognize, respect  and give effect to the right of freedom of conscience, belief and religion guaranteed under  21(1)(b)(c)  of the 1992 Constitution of Ghana by not forcing students of other faiths to attend or participate in partisan and sectional religious activities, such as Sunday Worship or Morning Devotion, against their will and/or the tenets of their faiths.

An order of perpetual injunction restraining the Republic of Ghana, its arms of government, ministries, departments, agencies, etc, and any private body or institution for that matter from condoning or forcing directly and constructively students of other faiths to attend or participate in partisan and sectional religious activities, such as Sunday Worship or Morning Devotion, against their will and/or the tenets of their faiths.

An order of perpetual injunction restraining the Republic of Ghana, its arms of government, ministries, departments, agencies, etc from sanctioning and endorsing partisan religious activities or offering preferential treatment to some religions during state, etc, events or activities when such treatment is not accorded all other religions in Ghana, particularly Islam and African Traditional Religion, on an equal footing.

Any further or other orders as this Honourable Court may deem fit.

Or in the alternative, and in the unlikely event that the compulsory attendance of partisan religious activities or events by all students regardless of their faith is held by thisHonourable Court to be justified under the provisions of the Constitution

A declaration that pursuant to articles 17,21(1)(b)(c),35(1)(5)(6)(a) and/or 37(1) of the Constitution the State has an obligation to provide equal support to all faith-based institutions whether Christian, Muslim or African Traditional Religion whether or not these institutions seek to promote their religious identity and faiths through their mission schools;

A declaration that pursuant to articles 17,21(1)(b)(c),35(1)(5)(6)(a) and/or 37(1) of the Constitution the State has an obligation  to reverse historical imbalance in the funding of mission schools by devoting more resources to fund  under-privileged mission schools particularly those belonging to Islamic faith and African Traditional Religion ,if any.

Any other or further consequential order(s) as this Honourable Court may deem fit.

The capacity in which the Plaintiff is bringing the action is as follows:

The Plaintiff brings this action in its capacity as a citizen of Ghana to seek the interpretation and/or enforcement of provisions of the 1992 Constitution of Ghana pursuant to articles 2(1) and 130(1) thereof.

The address for service of the Plaintiff is as follows:

GERSHON NII LAMPTEY
HSE. G355/2
LA,ACCRA
The address for service of Counsel for the Plaintiff is as follows:

Justin Pwavra
Teriwajah,Kaponde and Associates
Suit 606/607,6 th Floor
Republic House Building,Ghana Supply Company
Opposite Cocoboard
 Accra
The name and address of persons affected by this writ is as follow:

THE ATTORNEY-GENERAL
MINISTRY OF JUSTICE &
ATTORNEY-GENERAL’S DEPARTMENT
DATED AT ACCRA THIS 4HT DAY OF MARCH 2015
LIN. NO. GAR 10339/15
                                                                    …..……………………………….

                                                                          LAWYERS FOR PLAINTIFF

THE REGISTRAR,
SUPREME COURT,
ACCRA.
AND FOR SERVICE ON THE ATTORNEY-GENERAL, MINISTRY OF JUSTICE & ATTORNEY GENERAL’S DEPARTMENT, ACCRA


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