Contempt of court case: Bernard Mornah faces Supreme Court July 21

The National Chairman of the People’s National Convention (PNC), Mr Bernard Mornah, will appear before the Supreme Court on July 21, 2020, to answer charges for contempt of court filed against him by the Attorney-General.

The case was scheduled for Tuesday, July 14, but the court could not sit.

Mr Mornah was said to have urged Ghanaians at a press conference to disobey the order of the Supreme Court of June 25, which gave the Electoral Commission (EC) the green light to compile a fresh electoral roll without the existing voter identification (ID) card.

At the press conference, the respondent said, “to get your voter ID card, if it is the only identification document you can find and march in your numbers to registration numbers and in multitudes to the registration centres to demand the restoration of your citizenship and your inalienable right bestowed on you by virtue of your birth and by courtesy of the 1992 Constitution.”

The Attorney-General found his utterances completely at variance with the explicit orders of the court upholding the constitutionality of Constitutional Instrument (CI 26) which stated that the Ghana Card and passport were the only two eligible documents that would be accepted in the ongoing nationwide voter registration exercise. 

In the application for an order of committal for contempt of court, Mr Godfred Yeboah Dame, a Deputy Attorney-General is urging the apex court to punish the respondent as his conduct was a calculated attempt to bring the authority of the court into disrepute.

It said the respondent accused the Supreme Court of denying Ghanaians of their right to citizenship and their inalienable rights, thereby courting contempt and disaffection for the court.

That the willful conduct of Mr Mornah was clearly intended to subvert the judgement of the court and same was out of disrespect for the court’s authority under the 1992 Constitution.

On June 25, the Supreme Court unanimously dismissed a consolidated writ filed by the National Democratic Congress (NDC) and one Mark Takyi Banson, a Ghanaian citizen.

The court further made consequential orders to the effect that the decision of the court affects similar action which is pending or yet to be filed in any court.

The EC had stated that it would compile a new voter register for the presidential and parliamentary elections because the existing register was incurably defective for the purpose.

But the NDC, the biggest opposition political party in Ghana insisted that the exclusion of existing voter ID card as a form of identification to obtain a new voter ID card was unconstitutional. 

BY MALIK SULLEMANA

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