Suit against National Cathedral: Supreme Court dismissal unconstitutional-Haruna Attah

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    A Former Ghana’s High Commissioner to Namibia and Botswana, Amb. Alhaji Abdul-Rahman Harruna Attah, has noted that the building of the national cathedral by the President in the name of the state is unconstitutional.

    He said it is wrong because the constitution does not permit the interest of one religion to be projected above the others.

    Speaking in an interview with Dzifa Bampoh on the First on 3FM, the veteran journalist also criticized the Supreme Court for throwing out the suit that was challenging the construction of the cathedral.

    “What they are doing is not right, it is unconstitutional. The constitution is very clear the state in anyway should not put one religion’s interest over the other religion, it is purely unconstitutional.

    “The Supreme Court which threw out the challenge got it wrong they should go and read the constitution against,” he said.

    On January 23 the Supreme Court by a unanimous decision dismissed a suit challenging the construction of a national cathedral, filed by a member of the Convention People’s Party,(CPP), Kwabena Bomfeh, popularly known as Kabila.

    The apex court said the suit filed raised no legitimate issue requiring enforcement and interpretation.

    The court also indicated that the state has not excessively entangled itself in religious activities by supporting the project.

    The court thus held that nothing prohibits the government from lending such support to any religious group.

    James Kwabena Bomfeh, in March 2017 invoked the original jurisdiction of the Supreme Court, arguing that Ghana was a secular state, and therefore, it was wrong for the state to be “excessively entangled in any religion or religious practice”.

    In the suit, he prayed the apex court to declare the building of the National Cathedral and state involvement in the Muslim pilgrimage to Mecca unconstitutional.

    He further sought a declaration that “the decision of the Government of Ghana to purposely endorse, assist, aid, partly sponsor, and/or support the construction of a national cathedral near the State House of Ghana, for Christian interdenominational church services amounts to an excessive entanglement of the Republic of Ghana in religion and therefore unconstitutional.”

    Responding to the  plaintiffs, the Deputy Attorney General, Godfred Dame, said the issues raised by the plaintiff did not require an interpretation by the court, describing their arguments as contradictory.

    Mr. Dame also added that there has not been a contravention of the constitution,

    Concluding his case, Godfred Dame said government is acting in the interest of the people having regard to their religious beliefs.