Court gives EC go-ahead

•   Mrs.  Georgina Theodora Wood — Chief Justice

• Mrs. Georgina Theodora Wood — Chief Justice

People in the Abuakwa North Constituency of the Eastern Region were yesterday saved by the bell, when the Supreme Court dismissed an interlocutory injunc-tion to restrain the Electoral Commission (EC) from conducting public election or referendum in the country.

Granting of the injunction by the court, would have affected the electorate in the constituency, whose Member of Parliament, Joseph Boakye Danquah-Adu, was murdered in cold blood on February 9, 2016, in his Shaiashie residence near the Tetteh Quarshie roundabout in Accra, of which there is an impending bye-election in the area.

To ensure that the people do not suffer double agony the Chief Justice, Mrs. Georgina Theodora Wood, in dismissing the suit, said that though the issue was dicey, that should not deny those in the Abuakwa North Constituency their fair representation in Parliament, and likened the situation to “choosing between the devil and the deep blue sea”.

“In a situation of choosing between the devil and the deep blue sea, I will opt for the deep blue sea,” she said, throwing the entire court room into laughter.

Messrs Abu Ramadan and Evans Nimako filed a suit on February 25, 2016 at the court for an order of interlocutory injunction to restrain the EC and its agents, assigns, privies, servants and whomsoever of whatever description from conducting any public election or referendum howsoever described, pending the final determination of the suit.

“The EC should be restrained whether by itself, its agents, privies, servants and whomsoever of whatever description from conducting a limited or other voters registration exercise howsoever described in any manner whatsoever for the purpose of public elections and referenda in Ghana, pending the final determination of the substantive suit”.

But Mrs. Wood said that until the court made an authoritative and definite pronouncement, the status quo still remained.

She, however, told the plaintiffs that the reasons for refusing to grant their application would be incorporated in the judgement to be delivered after the substantive matter had been dealt with and drew the attention of the EC and the Attorney-General to the fact that Mr. Abu Ramadan and Mr. Nimako had relaxed their  reliefs a little with regard to the alternative reliefs.

The Chief Justice said that it would be better for the parties to confer with one another and come out with a better and more credible voters’ register,  which could be used for the up- coming general election, and urged them to show good faith and commitment towards it.

Mrs. Georgina Wood said, the Supreme Court would sit in April and hear the substantive issue in controversy.

Justices Jones Dotse and N.S. Gbadegbe in their respective pieces of advice told the EC that it would be better to go to the November 7, polls with a clean and a credible register that would bring peace and acceptance of the results by all.

Mrs. Georgina Opoku Amankwaa, Deputy Chairman, Finance and Administration of the EC told the court that steps were being taken to meet the political parties and other stakeholders on the way forward in solving the raging controversy on the voters’ register.

By Castro Zangina-Tong   

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