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Ghanaian man runs to Supreme Court for permission to marry more wives

According to dennislawnews.com, Samuel Ampomah requested the state’s highest court on October 18, 2022, to direct the Attorney-General and, consequently, the state, to amend the Ordinance under the Marriages Act to respect men’s choices and fundamental rights to marry in a manner more consistent with Ghana’s traditional and Islamic marriage laws.

Ampomah is requesting that the Supreme Court exercise its original jurisdiction to rule that the provisions of CAP 127’s Section 74(1)(b) and Act 29’s Sections 262, 263, and 265(2), which forbid men from having more than one wife even if they so desire, violate Articles 17(2) and 21(1)(c) of the Constitution.

However, the Attorney General claimed that the plaintiff merely misunderstood part 3 of the Marriages Act in its Statement of Defense to the case (CAP 127).

The AG says that “the many kinds of marriage as reflected by CAP 127 are simply based on the beliefs of the various religions about marriage and not a creation of the legislature” in a 23-page paper signed by Chief State Attorney Patience Adumua-Lartey.

“It was also said that section 74 of CAP 127 is unambiguous, straightforward, and admits of no ambiguity, and that all CAP 127 did was provide legal support for a religious value that has existed for all of recorded time.

“Furthermore, it argues that in light of the reliefs requested in the plaintiff’s action, it is obvious that this is not a matter requiring constitutional interpretation to grant the Supreme Court the necessary jurisdiction in accordance with Article 130(1). (a).

As stated on the RGD website, “Marriage under Ordinance is the Civil Union available to any Ghanaian to take advantage of, and despite some confusion, it is entirely secular and not religious (Christian) at all,” according to the AG’s Statement of Defense, as quoted by dennislawnews.com. “The AG further responds that marriage under the ordinance is fundamentally distinct from Christian marriage.”

As a result, the Attorney General is requesting that the Supreme Court dismiss the case because there has been an abuse of the legal system.

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