Ruling on Namah’s case this week


May 17, 2021 - 355 views

By Josu Kim

The Supreme Court’s ruling on Opposition Leader Belden Namah’s case regarding the non-tabling of a motion of no confidence in last December’s Parliament session is expected to be handed down this week.

This follows the completion of the hearing last Thursday by a five-man Supreme Court bench of Chief Justice Sir Gibbs Salika, Justice David Cannings, Justice Derek Hartshorn, Justice Ere Kariko and Justice Thomas Anis.

The court reserved the ruling after hearing submissions from Namah and the two interveners in the proceedings, Attorney-General Dr Eric Kwa and Parliament Speaker Job Pomat.

Namah challenged the Parliament Speaker’s decision on December 16, 2020 to adjourn Parliament to April 20, 2021 without debating and voting on the motion of no confidence stating that it was inconsistent with the Constitution.

Namah’s lawyer,Greg Sheppard, from Young and William Lawyers argued that the speaker was given the motion on 14 December 2020, however failed to table it in Parliament during the sitting on 16 December, 2020.

He further made submissions for the Supreme Court to declare the December 16, 2020 Parliament Sitting as unconstitutional and declare a date for Parliament to convene so that the Vote of No Confidence motion can be tabled.

Lawyer representing the Speaker, Loani Henao, made submissions to the court that there are no provisions in the constitution that states that the Speaker must table a motion at any specific time as it must go through the parliament’s Private Business Committee before being tabled.

Mr Henao further asked the court to consider the Separation of Powers under the constitution and that the court must not dictate the Parliament Standing Orders regarding the matter.

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