“Many people are above the law in Ghana” – Speaker of Parliament

Although it is customary in Ghana to hear the term “the law is no respecter of persons,” the Speaker of Parliament of Ghana, Alban Bagbin, does not agree with this statement.

The seasoned politician asserted that in Ghana, “so many people are above the law.”

As part of his attempts to develop the relationship between the Parliament and the media, the Speaker made this remark during a visit to the office of Graphic Communications Group Limited (GCGL) in Accra. His purpose for the visit was to meet with members of management and the editorial team.

“Many people are above the law in Ghana” – Speaker of Parliament

Mr. Bagbin, in the course of his commentary on the High Court’s decision to proceed with a daily trial for the newly elected Member of Parliament for Assin North, James Gyakye Quayson, stated that it was not right for the court to put Mr. Quayson through that process in light of the perjury and forgery charges that were brought against him by the state.

According to him, the ruling seems biassed, especially considering that no other instance has been dealt with in this manner.

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“What we are doing is rule by law, not rule of law, and I think it is something that we ought to move away from. The rule of law is the essential support structure that ensures the viability of democracies. I inform them, and I tell the judges that what they are doing is wrong. “If it is done to everybody, then I don’t have a problem with it; however, if it is done selectively, then I do have a problem with it,” Mr. Bagbin remarked.

He went on to say that “the law is no respecter of any person” and that this was one of the flaws of our constitution. If you take the time to go through our constitution, you’ll notice that the law respects a large number of different people. There are a significant number of people in Ghana who are above the law. You can’t have democracy with that, which is why we need to work seriously at it.

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The speaker urged the audience to back efforts to reexamine the constitution and emphasised that “it is something we must take up.” As a result, the audience was asked to support these efforts.

The Accra High Court, presided over by Justice Mary Yanzuh, issued a decision stating that James Gyakye Quayson’s trial, a member of the opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC), will start every day on July 4, 2023.

The court determined that its June 16 order stating this arrangement was legal and that a cause for review had not been made. As a result, the court did not revisit its decision.

A sizable number of people, including the legal team representing the recently elected MP, challenged the ruling.

Despite this, the court remained certain that “adjournments are at the discretion of the court and not the convenience of the parties.” The judgement handed down by this court was undeniably consistent with the statutes. There was not a single shred of evidence to suggest that the order was in violation of the law.

The fact that the court did not grant him time to campaign does not constitute a violation of his constitutional rights. According to the judge’s ruling, the mere refusal of the court does not represent a violation of the right to a fair trial.

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Mr. Quayson is currently going through a trial for the crimes of forgery and perjury after the Attorney General’s Office prosecuted him.

When he submitted nominations to run for office in the 2020 election, even though he had not yet renounced his Canadian citizenship, he was also accused of deceiving a public officer and willfully filing a false declaration. This is one of the charges against him.

 

 

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