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General News of Thursday, 3 March 2016

Source: citifmonline.com

Supreme Court throws out Abu Ramadan’s suit

The Supreme Court has dismissed an application for injunction to restrain the Electoral Commission (EC) from going ahead with the Abuakwa North constituency by-election and the limited registration exercise.

The suit was filed by the former National Youth Organizer of the People’s National Convention (PNC), Abu Ramadan.

The reason for the dismissal was not immediately given by the 7-member panel of judges presided over by Chief Justice Georgina Wood. The panel explained that will be done in the final ruling on the plaintiff’s substantive case.

But the Chief Justice and other members of the panel, admonished the EC to engage more with relevant stakeholders in the election to ensure a more transparent process ahead of the November polls.

Abu Ramadan in his application argued that it will be “contemptuous” for the Electoral Commission to conduct the by-election in Abuakwa using the current voters’ register, seeing he is challenging the credibility of same in court.

He further stated that the public will suffer irreparable damage if the EC is allowed to go ahead with the limited registration before the determination of his substantive case.

He was seeking the following reliefs

1.Given the pendency of the substantive suit and the unresolved issues motivating same, it would be improper and pre judicial for first respondent to conduct the announced limited registration exercise or indeed any registration exercise and if not restrained, the problems attending to the current voters’ register would be compounded at additional cost to the republic and its citizens.

2. Again it will be prejudicial and contemptuous for first respondent to conduct any public election including the Abuakwa North constituency by election using the current voters register and thereby allowing unqualified persons to participate in determining this country’s future.

3. With respect, the intended limited voters registration exercise and by elections would interfere with the administration of justice and undermine the judicial process in view of the pendency of this suit.