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General News of Friday, 28 October 2016


Konadu returns with fresh suit

Nana Konadu Agyeman Rawlings, Flag bearer of the National Democratic Party (NDP) Nana Konadu Agyeman Rawlings, Flag bearer of the National Democratic Party (NDP)

The National Democratic Party (NDP) has filed a fresh suit at an Accra High Court, seeking an interlocutory injunction to prevent the Electoral Commission (EC) from posting any notices of polls of presidential candidates without the inclusion of its flag-bearer.

This writ was filed late yesterday, after an Accra High Court earlier in the day dismissed an application for judicial review and the enforcement of fundamental human rights, describing it as incompetent.

According to the court, filing the two as one motion breached the rules of the court.

Consequently, it awarded a cost of GH¢10,000 to the EC.
Responding to the ruling, the parties flagbearer, former First Lady Nana Konadu Agyeman-Rawlings, said she would return to the court to contest her disqualification by the Electoral Commission (EC.

She is among the 12 presidential aspirants who were disqualified recently over alleged irregularities in the filling of their nomination forms.

She told The Ghanaian Times that she would file a fresh suit by close of yesterday.

In the new writ, the party is praying the court to prevent the EC from “publishing any notice of polls in the gazette and in places in constituencies around the country with respect to the 2016 Presidential Election without including the name of Mrs. Konadu Agyeman-Rawlings”.

It is praying the court for an enforcement of the fundamental human rights of the applicant.

According to the writ, until the final determination of the matter, the EC should not proceed with its work.
In striking out the earlier suit, the court, presided by Mr. Justice George Koomson, said the two motions seeking the powers of the court to enforce her fundamental human rights, and an application for judicial review should not have been filed together.

Mr. Justice George Koomson indicated that the two motions seeking the powers of the court to enforce her fundamental human rights, and an application for judicial review should not have been filed together.

He said the applicant should have filed them separately, adding that it breached the rules of the court.

It followed an earlier legal objection raised by counsel for the EC, Mr. Thaddeus Sori, that the case was not properly filed before the court.

The NDP had sued the EC, describing her disqualification as wrongful and illegal, therefore, asking the court to quash it.

It also asked for a restraining order preventing the EC from proceeding with other processes, pursuant to the court’s decision.

In the writ, the party said the EC’s act in question and decision dated October 10, this year, in respect of Mrs. Agyeman-Rawlings “are unfair, unreasonable, arbitrary, capricious and prejudiced against the applicant”, saying they were not in accordance with due process of law and do not comply with the requirements imposed on the 1st Respondent by law”, it stated.

The party described the action as a breach of natural justice.

It prayed the court for a declaration that the Commission erred in law when it decided not to accept the applicant’s nomination paper, thereby wrongfully and illegally disqualifying the applicant from contesting in the 2016 Presidential Elections.

According to NDP, failure, refusal or neglect by the EC and its Returning Officer for the 2016 Presidential Elections to comply with the legal obligations under Regulation 9 of CI 94 constituted a breach of the rules of natural justice, adding that the applicant was not offered a fair opportunity to be heard before taking a decision.

The suit stated that “pursuant to Regulation 9 of CI 94, nominations towards a Public Election do not and cannot close until the EC had been presented with and received the potential candidates’ nomination papers, statutory declarations and deposits of the nomination filing fees by bank draft altogether”.

The party contended that the effect of the commission’s decision to defer to accept deposits of nomination filing fees until October 10 was to extend the nomination period until after that date.

In that regard, they sought a declaration that the position of the Commission that the nomination period ended on September 30, 2016, was illegal and of no effect.

Among the reliefs sought was a declaration that ” upon the proper interpretation of Section 27 of the Representation of People Act, 1992 (PNDCL 284), a person is only disqualified from voting after having been tried for an electoral or registration offence, is convicted and sentenced by a court of law to serve a term of imprisonment”.

It was the party’s contention that the Commission erred in law when it determined that one Salifu Abdulai, a subscriber to Mrs. Agyeman-Rawlings’ nomination paper, was disqualified from voting and, therefore, was not a validly registered voter, thereby nullifying the nomination of the applicant, when the said Salifu Abdulai had neither been convicted by any court of law for any electoral or registration offence, nor served any term of imprisonment in accordance with Section 27 of PNDCL 28.

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