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Justice Abdulai Blasts Mahama Over SC Ruling On Deputy Speakers Voting

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Justice Abdullai has slammed former President John Mahama to stop giving wrong interpretation on the Supreme Court verdict concerning the voting rights of Deputy Speakers.

According to the petitioner, he does not need legal advice from former President Mahama, since he (Mahama) has no capacity to advise him on the law.

In his view, he should rather be advising Mr. Mahama on the law since he is the lawyer.

Mr. Mahama had earlier described the 7-0 unanimous decision of the apex court that presiding deputy speaker had the right to vote as “regrettable” and “I look forward to the applicant applying for a review of this ruling”.

But, the petitioner reacting to the issues raised by the former President on Accra fm said, “The former president cannot advise me on the law because he is not a lawyer. I respect him as a former president but he cannot advise me on matters of the law”.

Mr. Abdulai, who is also a lawyer, explained further that: “This issue about the Deputy Speaker and the substantive Speaker being the same is something that I thought the Supreme Court should have made a firm pronouncement on.”

“The Constitution says that whoever occupies a position – whether acting or deputy – has the same powers and authorities as to the substantive one. The Standing Orders reaffirm this same position that the Deputy Speaker is the same or occupies the same position or function as the Speaker”, he argued.

“Because of this difficulty, I expected a firm pronouncement on those matters by the Supreme Court to put a finality to that part of it. A firm pronouncement would have put some level of clarity and finality to the disagreements that are presently ongoing”, he noted.

He said: “In their judgment, [Justices] felt, ‘probably it wasn’t borne out of the reliefs that I was seeking’, so, they refused to grant it. That’s fair and part of the legal processes.”

The legal practitioner also said that he has been inundated with calls ever since the apex court ruled on the matter.

“I’m receiving calls from both prominent people in the NPP and NDC … I’ve also received calls from both past and present students of mine”.

Also, he said a lot of TV stations have “called me specifically to fund-raising purposes to support the review”.

Mr. Abdulai said he finds it “very humbling” that a lot of Ghanaians are ready to offer some help toward the judicial process but has decided against accepting any monetary offers.

Also, he revealed that he has been in touch with some statesmen who, collectively, are trying to use the judicial process as a rallying point to bring together former Presidents John Agyekum Kufuor and John Mahama together with President Nana Akufo-Addo as well as past and present Speakers of Parliament, to deliberate on the matter and push for national unity.

Since, in his view, his aim of unifying the country through the court petition is rather turning out to be counter-productive because the 7-0 ruling of the Supreme Court appears to have deepened the cracks of division in the nation.

Mr Abdulai petitioned the court to declare as unconstitutional, First Deputy Speaker Joseph Osei-Owusu’s action of counting himself as one of the MPs on the floor while presiding over the proceedings of the House in relation to the formation of a quorum for the passage of the 2022 budget, which had earlier been rejected by the minority side.

He was of the view that once a Deputy Speaker, who is an MP, presides in the stead of the Speaker, he loses his right to vote.

In a unanimous decision on Wednesday, 9 March 2022, however, the seven-member Bench, presided over by Justice Jones Victor Dotse, held that upon a true and proper interpretation of Article 103 and 104 of the 1992 Constitution, a Deputy Speaker, who is a Member of Parliament, does not lose his right to take part in decision-making in parliament.

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