A step in the right direction by the judge
The Supreme Court has nullified the police injunction on the #FixTheCountry demonstration.
The ruling was delivered today, Tuesday, June 8, 2021.
The police filed an ex-parte motion at the High Court against the planned protest and got a ruling in its favour on May 6, 2021.
The High Court ruled that the planned protest is prohibited until the restriction on public gatherings is lifted.
“It is hereby ordered that the organizers/conveners of FixTheCountry protest march, their associates, officers, agents, assigns, and workmen are prohibited from embarking on any demonstration on Sunday, 9th May 2021, or any other date until the restriction on public gatherings is lifted by the appropriate authority,” the order secured by the police stated.
Unhappy with the development, the group took the issue to the Supreme Court.
But a five-member Supreme Court panel today nullified the May 6, 2021 injunction order.
Arguing in court, Justice Srem Sai, lawyer for the #FixTheCountry protesters said the High Court order was absolute notwithstanding that ex-parte orders ordinarily lasted 10 days with room for the parties to then appear on notice.
He said the order was unambiguous and could not have been misunderstood by his clients, and prayed the court to set it aside.
On the other hand, Attorney General, Godfred Dame, argued that there was no subsisting order for the court to quash and prayed the court to throw out the protesters.
Describing the motion as misconceived, the Attorney General argued that the High Court Order was for 10 days and had since elapsed, making the applicant’s motion dead on arrival.
Hence, he argued, that there was presently no order in force barring the applicants from demonstrating.
The panel said the ex-parte injunction obtained under the hand of Justice Ruby Aryeetey of the High Court had since elapsed after the first 10 days of coming into force, as such, there was no subsisting injunction order stopping the #FixtheCountry protesters from going on a demonstration.
According to the AG, the IGP has, since the expiration of the ex-parte injunction, put the applicants on notice and the parties are currently before the High Court on notice.
Effectively, the Supreme Court quashed the indefinite order that stops the protesters from embarking on their street marches.