An Accra High Court will on October 28, 2020, hear a mandamus application filed by the chiefs of Lolobi and Akpafu against Mr Issaku Mussah, the Registrar General of General Jurisdiction High Court.
The applicants filed the action against Mr Mussah for allegedly refusing to transmit a letter to the Jubilee House concerning the case in which they are challenging the recommendation of the Justice Brobbey Commission for the inclusion of Lolobi and Akpafu in the newly created Oti Region.
They accused Mr Mussah for not calling their case almost a year after it was filed and that the case was only called two days to the end of the legal year, adding that in one instance it was discovered that the docket could not be found on the court files.
They alleged that the conduct of Mr Mussah amounted to denial of justice for the people of Lolobi and Akpafu, and urged the court to compel him to do the right thing by transmitting the said letter to the presidency.
It is recalled that two traditional leaders in the Oti Region dragged the Electoral Commission (EC) to the Supreme Court for placing Lolobi and Akpafu under Jasikan District in the Oti Region.
Nana Akoto Masakyi III, the Paramount Chief of Lolobi Traditional Area, and Nana Tetteh-Attu IV, the Adontehene, and acting Paramount Chief of Akpafu Traditional Area, said the decision by the EC to place Lolobi and Akpafu under the Jasikan District was in bad faith, since the people of Lolobi and Akpafu did not petition the President, neither did they ask the Justice Brobbey Commission to include the two areas in the Oti Region.
They had stated in their statement of claim that the chiefs and people of Akpafu had consistently maintained since 1945 that, they did not want to be part of the Jasikan/Buem District, Constituency or the Oti Region.
Their counsel, Mr Martin Kpebu, contended that the duties and powers of the EC does not include the power to create districts.
The plaintiffs stated that the defendant has laid before Parliament a constitutional instrument under the caption, “District Electoral Areas and Designation of Units Regulations, 2019”, in which it seeks to demarcate electoral boundaries pursuant to its powers under paragraph (b) of article 45 and article 51 of the 1992 Constitution.
It is the case of the plaintiffs that in the said instrument, the defendant has unlawfully deleted Lolobi and Akpafu from the Hohoe Municipality and placed them under the Jasikan District, contrary to article 241(2) of the 1992 Constitution and sections 1(2) and (3) of the Local Governance Act, 2016 (Act 936).
On January 29, 2018, the plaintiffs averred that the Paramount Chief of Lolobi Traditional Area presented a “Technical Report” and other documents to the Justice Brobbey Commission at the Osu Castle and the Commission duly acknowledged receipt.
Again on March 16, 2016, the plaintiffs stated Nana Kofi Adu II, a sub-divisional chief of Akpafu Todzi, wrote to the Brobbey Commission on behalf of the two traditional areas, through the office of the President, Jubilee House, Accra, to request that Akpafu and Lolobi areas be excluded from the proposed Oti Region.
They said on October 17, 2018, when a Joint Steering Committee from Lolobi and Akpafu met the Chairperson of the EC, Mrs Jean Mensa, to demand answers as to why the two communities had been designated to participate in a scheduled referendum regarding the proposed Oti Region, the Chairperson responded that her hands were tied, but advised them to petition the President and Minister of Regional Re-organisation and Development, which they did.
BY MALIK SULLEMANA