General News of Wednesday, 7 November 2018
The Supreme Court has granted a request by lawyer for the acting General-Secretary of the Convention People’s Party (CPP), James Kwabena Bomfeh aka Kabila, to amend his statement of case in his suit against the plans of the government to construct a 50,000-seater national cathedral.
The court at the last sitting ordered him and the Office of the Attorney General to file a joint memorandum of issues within a week from yesterday.
Appearing before the court yesterday his lawyer, Baasit Abdul Aziz Bamba, prayed the court to grant him leave to amend his statement of case.
Deputy Attorney-General, Godfred Yeboah Dame, who represented the state, did not oppose the application.
The seven-member panel presided over by Justice Sophia Adinyira granted the application and asked the lawyer to file the amended statement of case within three days.
The court also heard that both the plaintiff and the Office of the Attorney-General have filed their joint memorandum of issues as ordered by the apex court on October 24, 2018.
Meanwhile, the court has ordered both parties to file their legal arguments within seven days. The case was adjourned to November 21, 2018, for hearing.
The court last month expressed its readiness to expedite the hearing of the matter to reach its logical conclusion.
The court also indicated that the plaintiff’s application for interim injunction against moves by government to commence the project was pending.
Acting General-Secretary of the Convention People’s Party (CPP), James Kwabena Bomfeh, sued the Attorney-General, Gloria Afua Akuffo, over plans by the Akufo-Addo administration to construct a 50,000-seater national cathedral.
According to him, government has no business in religious affairs in the country and wants the support given to Muslim pilgrims declared unconstitutional.
His suit filed at the apex court is seeking the court to restrain government or any of its representatives from being “involved in or taking any steps towards the construction of the Ghana National Cathedral, including the demolition of residences of justices of the Superior Courts.”
The plaintiff also wants government to be prevented from commencing “any civil works for the construction of the Ghana National Cathedral; and/or taking any action, measure or step preliminary or incidental to the construction of the Ghana National Cathedral.”
“A declaration that the decision of the Government of Ghana to purposely endorse, assist, aid, partly sponsor, and/or support the construction of a National Cathedral near the State House of Ghana for Christian interdenominational church services amounts to an excessive entanglement of the Republic of Ghana and religion and therefore unconstitutional”.
“A declaration that the setting up of a Hajj Board by the Government of the Republic of Ghana for the purpose of coordinating, supporting and/or aiding Ghanaian Muslims to embark on a religious pilgrimage to Mecca is unconstitutional”.
A decision by the current government to construct a multi-purpose 50,000-seater national cathedral has attracted wild criticisms from all quarters with many describing it as a misplaced priority.
Government has already declared its intention to demolish some buildings including residence of Appeal Court judges, passport office, judicial training institute, among others, to make way for the cathedral.