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Politics of Thursday, 16 January 2003

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Supreme Court disqualifies NDC MP

The Supreme Court on Wednesday ruled that the National Democratic Congress MP for Wulensi, Mr Samuel Nyimakan, should be disqualified to stand as a candidate for election in the Wulensi Constituency.

In a 4-1 decision at its sitting, the Court, presided over by Mr Justice E.K. Wirewdu, Chief Justice, ruled that it "has no jurisdiction to entertain an appeal in a petition case under Article 99 of the Constitution, after an appeal to the Court of Appeal."

"The respondent is held to be disqualified to stand as a candidate for election in the Wulensi Constituency."

The Court said the Attorney-General was to be formally notified to inform the Speaker of Parliament.

No costs were awarded. The MP for Wulensi had filed an appeal against an earlier decision by the Tamale High Court challenging his eligibility.

The Tamale High Court had ruled in favour of Mr Fuseini Zakari in a petition filed to unseat Mr Nyimakan for allegedly flouting the residency clause in the electoral law.

The petitioner alleged that Mr Nyimakan neither hailed from any part of the constituency nor had any record of residency in the area, as required by law.

The petitioner alleged that the MP's records indicated that he was born at Saboba, had his secondary school education at Tamale Secondary School and taught at Chamba in the Bimbilla Constituency.

The Court of Appeal dealt a second blow to Mr Nyamakan, when in a unanimous decision it upheld the ruling of the High Court and, therefore, dismissed his appeal brought before the court on April 12 this year.

Before the Appeal Court's decision of April 12 could be enforced, the MP filed an application at the Supreme Court for stay of execution, pending the final determination of his appeal by the Court.

The seat had become the subject of litigation, since the Electoral Commission declared the 2000 election results in the constituency.

It Will Take A Miracle For NPP To Win Wulensi By-Election

Meanwhile the NDC member of Parliament for Kumbugu Alhaji Mohamed Mumuni has expressed optism that, the NDC would retain the Wulensi Seat, if there should be a by-election, after the disqualification of the current MP, Samuel Animakan.

He said it would be a surprise to him, if the New Patriotic Party takes the Wulensi Parliamentary Seat. Speaking on Peace fm today, Hon. Mumuni said, the Wulensi constituency is one of the constituencies in the Northern region, that the NDC enjoys massive support from.
He said the ruling by a court that, the election of Mr Animakan was null and void, means that the Parliamentary Board would have to decide when to hold a by-election as the constitution demands. He however stated that, it will, it is up to the Parliament, to decide whether to give Mr Animakan and End of Service Benefit Package, or to allocate the items he is already enjoying, to him.
He said Mr Animakan has been effective in Parliament, for the few years that he spent in Parliament. He said he has contributed a lot on the floor and was very regular.