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07.06.2012 PNC News

PNC Against Supreme Court Decision

By Dominic Moses Awiah - Daily Graphic
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The People's National Convention has described the decision of the Supreme Court over the sale of the State bungalow to the Chairman of the New Patriotic Party, Mr Jake Otanka Obetsebi Lamptey, as unconstitutional.

It has, therefore, called on the plantiff and the Attorney-General to immediately apply for a review of the decision of the Supreme Court.

Addressing the media Wednesday at the party’s headquarters in Accra, the General Secretary of the PNC, Mr Bernard Mornah, said the supreme court ignored “the clear, patent and easy-to-understand provision of the 1992 Constitution on the matter.’’

The party’s bigwigs who sat at the news briefing were the Chairman of the party, Alhaji Armed Ramadan, the flag bearer for the 2012 Presidential Election, Hassan Ayariga, the National Organiser, Mr Emmanuel Wilson, the Member of Parliament for Builsa South, Alhaji Alhassan Azong, and a member of the party’s legal team, Dr Raymond Atuguba.

“It is worrying that the majority of judges in this case were dead set on ensuring that the transactions leading up to the allocation of the house to Jake Obetsebi-Lamptey were rationalised in the face of clear evidence that the transactions breached clear and unambiguous provisions of the 1992 Constitution, in particular Article 258,’’Mr Mornah said.

He explained that the 1992 Constitution required that public lands be held in trust for the people of Ghana and used in the interest of the public.

He stated that Article 36(8) said “the state shall recognise that ownership and possession of land carry a social obligation to serve the larger community and, in particular, the state shall recognise that the managers of public lands are fiduciaries charged with obligation to discharge their functions for the benefit of the people of Ghana.’’

Mr Mornah added that Clause (1) of Article 34 enjoined the judiciary to be guided by the Directive Principles of State Policy contained in chapter six of the Constitution.

“The parceling out and doling out of public lands in choice communities in the heart of the administrative district of Accra to private interests, without merit, cannot be said to be in the public interest given the need for accommodation by public officials in areas close to the part of town where they work,’’ Mr Mornah pointed out.

He contended that the Supreme Court failed to gather enough evidence to conclude that there was cronyism, arbitrariness and discrimination in the allocation of properties under the Accra Redevelopment Scheme.

“Again, the allocation of the house to Obetsebi-Lamptey was not done in accordance with the rules set out for same, and was consequently not fair and transparent, did not receive the input of cabinet, and did not receive the input of the minister responsible for lands as required by Article 258 of the 1992 Constitution,’’ he said.

Mr Mornah, however, called on the government to adopt the Accra Redevelopment Policy and policies of similar nature to serve the interest of the large public.

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