Lawyer sues EC, A-G

To avoid another election petition in this year’s general election, an Accra-based legal practitioner has filed a writ against the Electoral Commission (EC) and the Attorney-General (AG) at the Supreme Court.

The plaintiff, Mr. Kwesi Nyame-Tsease Eshun, is seeking the true and proper interpretation of articles 42, 43, 45 (C) and 51 of the 1992 Constitution, especially Article 45 (C) which mandates the Commission “to conduct and supervise all public elections and referenda,” implying that a duty bestowed on the EC to conduct such elections in a free, fair, transparent and credible manner.

Anything short of this has the tendency of generating controversy after the elections with regard to the authenticity of the results as happened in 2012 presidential election.

The plaintiff among other reliefs is asking the Supreme Court to declare that:

I, “By the combined effects of Article 23, 45 (C), 51 and 296 (a) and (b) of the Constitution and the core Constitutional values of transparency, accountability and the rule of law (legality), the failure of the EC to make mandatory provision in the Public Elections Regulations, 2016, (C.I.94) requiring the returning officer of the 1st defendant (EC) to furnish the contesting parliamentary and presidential candidates, their representatives or counting agents with the copies of the Parliamentary Elections-Result Collation Form, ie Form One E.L. 23A, and Presidential Elections-Result Collation Form,  One E.L. 23B specified in the schedule thereto, is unreasonable, unfair, non-transparent and does not promote or secure free and fair elections and is accordingly inconsistent with and in contravention of Articles 23,45 (c), 51 and 296 (a) and (b) of the Constitution and the core Constitutional values of transparency, accountability and rule of law”.

It also asked the court to declare that “the failure of the 1st defendant to make provision in C.I. 94 requiring the returning officer and the contesting candidates, their representatives or counting agents to sign the Parliamentary Elections –Result Collation Form,  namely Form One E.L. 23 A and Presidential Elections-Result Collation Form, ie Form One E.L. 23B in the schedule there to is unreasonable, arbitrary and non-transparent, and does not promote or secure free, fair, and credible elections and is accordingly inconsistent with, and in contravention of the letter and spirit of the Constitution particularly articles 23, 45 (c), 51 and 29 (a) and therefore, and with the core Constitutional values of transparency, accountability and the rule of law (legality)”.

“Again, the failure of the 1st defendant to make provision for any column or space on the Parliamentary Elections-Result Collation Form, namely, Form One E.L. 23 A, in the schedule to C.l. 94 and on the Presidential Elections-Result Collation Form, namely, Form One E.L. 23B, for the returning officer and the contesting parliamentary and presidential candidates, their  representatives or counting agents to execute their signatures is unreasonable, arbitrary, non-transparent and does not promote or secure free, fair and credible elections, and is accordingly inconsistent with, and in contravention of articles 23, 45 (C) 51 and 296 (a) and (b) of the constitution and with the Core Constitutional values of transparency, accountability and the rule of law”.

The plaintiff is asking the Supreme Court to declare that “the failure of the EC to make clear provisions in C.l. 94,  prescribing the detailed steps that the returning officer at the Constituency Collation Centre shall methodically take to collate the total valid votes cast for each of the contesting presidential candidates, and to enter same in the relevant forms, namely, the Certificate to be endorsed on the Writ, Form One E.L. 1 B and Presidential Elections-Result Collation Form, Form One E.L. 23 B of the schedule thereto is unreasonable, arbitrary, non-transparent and does not promote or secure free, fair, transparent and credible elections, and is accordingly inconsistent with and in contravention of the letter and spirit of the Constitution, 1992, particularly articles 23, 45 (c), 51 and 296 (a) and (b) thereof and with the core Constitutional values and principles of transparency and the rule of law.

“That the failure of the EC to make provision for a form in the schedule to C.l. 94, which answers to “the declaration of results form” referred to in a regulation 42 (1) (d) of C.l. 94, is unreasonable, arbitrary and non-transparent and does not promote or secure free, fair and credible elections, and is accordingly inconsistent with, and in contravention of articles 23, 45 (c), 51 and 296 (a) and (b) of the Constitution, 1992, and the core Constitutional values of transparency, accountability and legality”, the plaintiff sought.

Mr. Justice William Atuguba who presided over the Seven-member panel of judges, yesterday told the plaintiff to reply to the defendants’ statement of case today and as well asked the parties to file their agreed issues by the close of today.

He said that if the parties did not agree to file a joint memorandum of issues, they deserved the right to file their individual issues by today and adjourned the case to a later date.

Other judges were, Mr. Justice Julius Ansah, Mrs. Justice Sophia Adinyirah, Mr. Justice Jones Dotse, Mr. Justice Anin Yeboah, Mr. Justice Paul Baffoe-Bonnie and Mr. Justice Anthony A. Benin.

The plaintiff, Mr. Kwesi Nyame-Tsease has Messrs Akoto Ampaw, Alex Quainoo, Kwaku Ashrifi and Samuel Akuffo as his lawyers while the Electoral Commission and the AG’s Department are represented by Mr. Thaddeus Sory and Mrs. Dorothy Afriyie-Ansah, Chief State Attorney respectively.

 

By Castro Zangina-Tong    

 

 

 

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