Crime

SC rules on 2 LGBTQ Presidential assent applications July 17

The Supreme Court (SC) will on July 17, 2024, rule on two separate applications seeking to bar the Speaker of Parliament, Mr Al­ban Sumana Kingsford Bagbin, from transmitting the Human Sexual Rights and Family Values Bill to President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo for his assent.

Dr Amanda Odoi, a re­searcher, and Mr Richard Dela Sky, a journalist, and private legal practioner, are the plain­tiffs, who filed the interlocuto­ry injunction urging the apex court to stop Mr Bagbin from exercising his constitutional duty of passing the LGBTQ bill until the court determines their case challenging the con­stitutionality of the bill.

The court, presided by the Chief Justice, Justice Gertrude Araba Esaaba Sackey Torkor­noo, adjourned the case for ruling after it heard arguments from the Attorney-General and Minister of Justice, Mr Godfred Yeboah Dame, and counsel for the Speaker of Par­liament, Mr Thaddeus Sory.

On February 14, 2024, Parliament passed the Human Sexual Rights and Family Values Bill, which seeks to regulate the activities of gays, lesbians and bisexuals in Ghana.

But, before the Speaker transmitted the bill to the pres­idency, President Akufo-Addo wrote a letter through his Sec­retary, Nana Asante Bediatuo, to the Speaker of Parliament, asking him to hold on until the SC dealt with the interlocutory injunctions of Mr Sky and Dr Amanda.

In his suit, Richard Dela Sky is challenging the constitution­ality of Parliament in passing the “Human Sexual Rights and Family Values Bill.”

The plaintiff, who is seeking the SC to declare the bill null and void, also argues that the passage of the bill violates provisions of the 1992 Consti­tution particularly Article 33(5) as well as Articles 12(1) and (2), 15(1), 17(1) and (2), 18(2), and 21(1) (a) (b) (d) and (e).

Mr Sky is seeking eight reliefs, including an order that “the Speaker of Parliament contravened Article 108(a)(ii) of the Constitution, in light of Article 296(a)(b) and (c), by admitting and allowing Parliament to proceed upon and pass ‘The Human Sexual Rights and Family Values Bill, 2024’ into law as the same imposes a charge upon the Consolidated Fund or other public funds of Ghana.”

Dr Odoi has raised concerns about specific provisions with­in the Human Sexual Rights and Family Values Bill.

She is also seeking a restrain­ing order to prevent the Speak­er, the Attorney General, and the Clerk of Parliament from sending the bill to President Akufo-Addo for his approval.

 BY MALIK SULLEMANA

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