A legal practitioner, Elikplim L. Agbemava has sued the Attorney General at the Supreme Court seeking the highest court to interpret the powers that Ghana’s parliament has to approve loans before they can be used.
Lawyer Agbemava who is a Managing Partner of Fidelity Law Group indicated that they want the Supreme Court to interpret that “on a true and proper interpretation of Article 181 of the 1992 Constitution of the Republic of Ghana, Parliament lacks the power to whittle down the effect of the mandatory constitutional injunction under Article 181 that all loans (without any distinction) must be laid before Parliament for approval before they can come into force or become operational.”
Readers will recall that on 4th August, 2016, the Parliament of Ghana passed into law the Petroleum (Exploration and Production) Act of 2016 (Act 919). However Lawyer Agbemava alleges that Parliament in passing the law unlawfully gave the executive the power to contract certain loans without the approval of Parliament contrary to Article 181 of the 1992 Constitution.
In a statement released by the Fidelity Law group it said “amongst the reliefs being sought is an appeal to the Supreme Court to declare that on a true and proper interpretation of Article 181 of the Constitution, Section 10 subsection 15 of the Petroleum (Exploration and Production) Act, 2016 (Act 919) is contrary to Article 181 of the Constitution and therefore unconstitutional.
“The Supreme Court is also being called upon to declare that any loan agreement entered into by the State or any public entity without Parliamentary approval by virtue of Section 10 subsection 15 of the Petroleum (Exploration and Production) Act, 2016 (Act 919) for the purpose of exploration, development and production of crude oil and natural gas is unconstitutional, void and of no legal effect. The Attorney General is yet to give her response to the allegations being made.”