The Supreme Court has thrown out a petition seeking to set aside a Court of Appeal ruling that reinstated the provisions of the Finance Act, 2023.
Busia Senator Okiyah Omtatah had in June moved to the High Court to challenge the constitutionality of the amendments contained in the Finance Act 2023.
In the unanimous ruling delivered by a seven-judge bench on Friday, September 8, the apex court ruled that the petition was filed outside the stipulated time.
After considering the submissions made, the judges concluded that Omtatah’s case lacked merit and failed to follow the regulations set by the court.
Moreover, the seven judges affirmed that the applicants failed to prove that the decision made by the Court of Appeal would amount to injustice. As such, the judges saw no need to reverse the ruling.
“The four sets of written submissions filed out of time by the applicants on 15th August 2023 on the Court’s online platform be and are hereby struck out,” the court papers read in part.
“We are equally not convinced that the decision of the Court Appeal has occasioned grave injustice to warrant invocation of our inherent jurisdiction,” the court added.
“The applicants’ Notice of Motion dated 5th August 2023 be and is hereby dismissed.”
Supreme Court Warning to Omtatah
Additionally, the Supreme Court warned parties in the case against making derogatory remarks targeting judges handling the case.
While making reference to a video where an applicant was seen making remarks deemed to be derogatory- the court asserted that any form of contempt towards the Judiciary would not be condoned and that the court would not hesitate to punish such acts.
“We must remind parties that the dignity and authority of this Court or indeed any court of law should not be taken for granted,” the court papers read in part.
In his first petition filed in June, Senator Omtatah argued that the proposed amendments were unconstitutional. Consequently, the High Court issued orders to suspend implementation of the Act.
However, the Court of Appeal dealt his case a major blow in August after a decision allowing the government to continue implementing the new fiscal measures pending the hearing and determination of the case.
Meanwhile, the High Court Case to determine the constitutionality of the Finance Act is set to commence later in September.