Journalist’ suit against EC fails

An Accra High Court yesterday dismissed a suit against the Electoral Commission (EC) by International Standards Journalist Association (ISJA), over accreditation fees for journalists covering the 2016 Presidential and Parliamentary polls.

The court, presided by Justice Gifty Agyei Addo, awarded cost of GH¢ 3,000 to the Commission.

However, the applicant, Nana Oppong, filed a fresh suit in replacement of the dismissed one this time, not in the interest of the group, but in his personal capacity.

Consequently, the court adjourned the case to today.

Earlier, counsel for the EC, Mr. Thaddeus Sory, opposed the suit, arguing that the plaintiff was wrong to invoke the jurisdiction of the court by a writ of sermons.

He said Mr. Oppong should have invoked the jurisdiction of the court by an application, and that his claim was based on administrative breaches and non-compliance of law.

According to Mr. Sory, the writ was filed by a non-existing body.

Nana Oppong said that smaller groups or people with similar interest could come together to initiate such action, adding that this does not make a group nonexistent.

He said that the decision of the Commission to charge journalists for accreditation was a breach of statutory duty.

The ISIA on November 11 sued the EC over media accreditation fees.

The EC had announced its intention to charge accreditation fees from journalists who would cover the elections.

However, the group said EC’s move is “unconstitutional discrimination against each journalist on the basis of his status as a Ghanaian journalist.”

 

By Edem Mensah-Tsotorme

 

 

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