Ghana's Supreme Court
Ghana's Supreme Court

The Supreme Court has granted an application by private legal practitioner cum journalist, Richard Dela Sky to amend his reliefs in his suit challenging the constitutionality of Parliament in passing the Human Sexual Rights and Family Values Bill, also known as anti-gay bill.

The apex court is also hearing a similar case filed by a researcher, Dr Amanda Odoi challenging the passage of the anti-LGBTQ+ bill.

President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo cites the two lawsuits as having stalled the transmission of the bill to him for his assent.

The lawsuits have generated national interest and discourse, and in Court on Wednesday, May 8, lawyers for Richard Sky asked to amend portions of their reliefs.

After a back and forth between the lawyers, the Chief Justice, Gertrude Torkonoo granted the application although the Attorney-General and Minister of Justice, Godfred Dame had objected to it.

The Court gave Mr Sky up to the 17th of May to file a new process.

There were also intense exchange of words between Chief Justice Gertrude Torkonoo and lawyer for the Speaker of Parliament, Thaddeus Sory.

In his suit, Richard Dela Sky, who is seeking the apex court 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.”

On her part, Dr Amanda 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.

The hearing of the case is being publicised live on electronic media after the Chief Justice granted a request from the Attorney-General to that effect due to the growing public interest in the case.


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