By Joyce Danso, GNA
Accra Jan. 23, GNA - The Supreme Court per a unanimous decision on Wednesday dismissed a suit challenging the state’s involvement in the construction of a National Cathedral for state functions and the setting of the Hajj Board.
The seven member panel unanimously declared that the state’s involvement did not contravene or breached the 1992 Constitution, adding that Mr James Kwabena Bomfeh, a citizen and Acting General Secretary of the Convention Peoples Party who initiated the action, failed to raise the constitutional issues for interpretation or enforcement.
The panel held that the actions of the state was to ensure social cohesion and unity among religious bodies and re-stated that the 2010 National Population Census, indicated that the nation was made up of the 71. 2 per cent Christians and 17.6 per cent Muslims.
The apex court further held that the President of the Republic facilitated in the acquisition of the land and the sponsorship of the building for the cathedral has allotted it to churches in the country.
“If the plaintiff has issues with the location of the Offices of National Cathedral at the Office of the President that could be re-located. We do not see any excessive entanglement of the state in the matter,” the court held.
The court said if Mr Boamfeh was only making a case for minority religious groups then the action was misconceived.
Mrs Justice Sophia Adinyira who read the judgement noted that over the years there had been collaboration between religious bodies and government in the area of education, medical care among others.
According to the court all those efforts were to ensure the economic growth of the country.
Mr Bomfeh aka Kabila in March last year, proceeded to the Supreme Court invoking its jurisdiction on the fact the Ghana was a secular state it was not for government to excessively entangled itself in a any religion.
He therefore prayed the court to declare as unconstitutional government’s involvement in the building of a National Cathedral as well as the setting up of the Hajj Board.
Nana Akuffo Addo, President of the Republic in March last year cut the sod for the construction of the National Cathedral to house an estimated 5,000 people.
The source of funding for the project was to be from sponsorship from Churches in the country.
Other members on the panel were Justices Anin Yeboah, Jones Victor Douse, Ampah Benin, Sule Gbadegbe and Mrs Vida Akoto Bamfo.
Mr Godfred Yeboah-Dame, Deputy Attorney General who represented the state, said the decision of the court was in right direction because the constitution recognises the supreme being of God and with the population of country made up of 80 percent Christians and Muslims there was nothing wrong with government supporting the establishment of the National Cathedral and a Hajj Board.
Dr Sadit Aziz Bamba, who represented Mr Bomfeh said the Supreme Court’s decision represented victory for the people of Ghana, adding that what the judgement meant was that government was now bound to lend a hand to all religious groups in the country.