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General News of Saturday, 5 November 2016

Source: dailyguideafrica.com

Hassan Ayariga bounces back


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An Accra High Court yesterday – for the second time – ordered the Electoral Commission (EC) to reverse its decision of disqualifying Hassan Ayariga, presidential candidate of the All People’s Congress (APC), from contesting in the December presidential poll.

The court, presided over by Justice Barbara Tetteh-Charway, said there are procedures to be followed before a candidate could be disqualified.

Ruling

She said although the commission saw 30 mistakes on the presidential forms of Ayariga and identified same to him for correction, the EC should have hastened slowly.

In the view of the court, the argument by the EC on the face of it sounds logical but it’s flawed, adding that in the present case, things looked far from perfect.

The judge was emphatic that the commission failed to notify the applicant who stood nominated, before his disqualification, indicating that the EC acted unfairly.

Rush

The court posited that the EC should have been patient and act in a manner that would enhance the integrity of the process.

Ms Tetteh-Charway said the EC could not be said to have acted fairly, especially when it did not give the affected party the chance; and ordered the commission to give Ayariga the opportunity to amend his forms and submit them.

Maxwell Korbina Loghan, lawyer for Ayariga, was asking the court, among other things, to order the EC to afford his client the time to correct the mistakes as appeared on the face of his nomination papers and to add his name on the presidential ballot paper for the election.

Thaddeus Sory, lawyer for the EC in opposing the motion, said the commission offered Ayariga the opportunity to correct the errors prior to the submission of his nomination forms.

He stated that the EC spotted over 30 errors on the nomination forms of Ayaraiga.

Nduom’s Fate

In a related development, the Supreme Court has set Monday, October 7, 2016 to deliver its ruling in the matter brought before it by the EC.

The commission is praying the apex court to quash the high court ruling ordering it to allow Dr. Papa Kwesi Nduom, presidential aspirant of the Progressive People’s Party (PPPP), to contest in the December elections.

The EC had run to the court days after the lower court had quashed its decision to disqualify Dr Nduom.

The high court, presided over by Justice Eric Kyei Baffour, held that the EC must allow Dr. Nduom to correct the mistakes on his nomination papers and submit them.

However, a seven-member panel of Supreme Court, presided over by Justice Sophia Adinyira, ordered lawyers for the parties – Sory for the EC and J. Ayikoi Otoo for the PPP – to file their various statements of case by close of yesterday.

Mr Sory had told the court that he would rely entirely on the statement of case as filed.

Other judges on the panel are Anin-Yeboah, P. Baffoe-Bonnie, Vida Akoto-Bamfo, Anthony A. Benin, Yaw Apaw and Gabriel Pwamang.

Edward Mahama

Meanwhile, another high court has fixed November 10 to deliver its ruling in the case filed by Dr. Edward Mahama, presidential aspirant of the People’s National Convention (PNC), contesting his disqualification from the presidential election.

He is among 12 others disqualified from the presidential race after the EC had detected various anomalies on their nomination forms.

The court, presided over by Justice Afua Norvisi Aryine, said the court had received the statements of case of both parties.

Dr. Raymond Atuguba, lawyer for Dr. Mahama, described the disqualification of his client by the EC as unreasonable.

He said the commission had per its action also violated six different human rights of his client.

Mr Thaddeus Sory, who opposed the motion, urged the court to dismiss it, saying it was erroneous.

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