Supreme Court throws out suit against Nana Addo over National Cathedral

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The Supreme Court has thrown out a contempt application against President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo over the construction of the National Cathedral.

The application initiated by a businessman, Jonathan Holm, through his lawyer Bright Akwetey has been dismissed.

The suit also enjoined the Lands Commission as Defendant/Respondent.

Holm, represented by his lawyer argued that the demolition of government bungalows on the site earmarked for the construction of a National Cathedral was unlawfully done because the issue relating to the construction of the edifice was pending before the Supreme Court.

In his writ, he insisted that the demolition brings the administration of justice into disrespect and is in violation with the Presidential Oath of Office.




He said the respondent has also acted in disrespect to the authority of the Supreme Court and had willfully interfered with pending litigation in a manner likely to prejudice a fair hearing of the case.

“The respondent has also acted in violation of the Constitution and the laws of Ghana,” he added.

Supreme court rules

A seven-member panel chaired by Justice Jones Dotse while dismissing the application said the president is immune from both criminal and civil actions as stipulated by Article 57 (4 and 5).




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According to the court, the same constitution while giving the president immunity also prescribed a solution on how to deal with the president which impeachment.




The application the court described as incompetent and one that has no merit for whatsoever.

The businessman’s lawyer, Bright Akwetey while moving the case said even though the constitution as per Article 57 stipulates that the president cannot be sued while in office but the President can be sued when he is personally liable for the crime.

He said when the President deliberately commit a crime, he is amenable to legal action and therefore prayed the court to commit the President for contempt.

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PRELIMINARY OBJECTION

Dorothy Afriyie Ansah, a Chief State Attorney in the case who raised a preliminary objection said the President is immune from both criminal and civil actions as per article 57 (4 and 5) as a sitting President.





She argued that the President can be sued three years after leaving the office. The Chief State Attorney, however, prayed for the application to be dismissed.

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