The Supreme Court has today, Wednesday, dismissed Richard Sky’s Suit against the government, as regards the appointment of the Electoral Commission Chairperson.
Richard Dela Sky had filed an application in May 2015, shortly after the appointment of Charlotte Osei as EC Chair, praying the Supreme Court to interpret provisions of Article 70 (2) of the 1992 Constitution on the appointment of an Electoral Commission Chair.
The said section of the constitution reads:
“The President shall, acting on the advice of the Council of State, appoint the Chairman, Deputy Chairman, and other members of the Electoral Commission.” Article 91(3) of the same Constitution says, “The Council of State may, upon request or on its own initiative, consider and make recommendations on any matter being considered or dealt with by the President, a Minister of State, Parliament or any other authority established by this constitution except that the President, Minister of State, Parliament or other authority shall not be required to act in accordance with any recommendation made by the Council of State under this clause.”
The Ghana Bar Association (GBA) was also part of the case. They questioned on their own part, the President’s appointment of two Supreme Court justices. The reliefs sought in Richard Sky’s suit included:
I. A declaration that upon true and proper interpretation of Article 70(2) of the 1992 Constitution, the provisions of Article 91(3) of the 1992 Constitution have no bearing and inapplicable to the special role of the Council of State in the appointment to the special role of the Council of State in the appointment of the Chiarman of the Electoral Commission, his Deputies and other Commissioners.
II. A declaration that upon true and proper interpretation of Article 70(2) of the 1992 Constitution together with Article 91 (4) of the 1992 Constitution, it is the Council of State that has the Constitutional mandate to initiate the process of appointment of the Chairman, the Deputies and other Commissioners of the Electoral Commission; And such advice on a suitable candidates(s) to be appointed constitutionally is binding on the President.
III. An order directing the exact procedures to be followed by the Council of State either suo motto or by prompting by the President in such appointments in the light of Article 70(2) of the 1992 Constitution.
IV. Any other order or orders as this Honourable Court may deem fit.
However, after the case has lingered for over a year, the Supreme court finally ruled today that “the President is not bound by the advice of the Council of State on the appointments in question”.