Supreme Court dismisses interim injunction against EC

Georgina Wood - Chief Justice
Georgina Wood – Chief Justice

An interim injunction seeking to restrain the Electoral Commission (EC) from going ahead with the limited registration exercise and the pending Abuakwa North Constituency by-election has been dismissed by the Supreme Court.

The court, presided over by the Chief Justice, Mrs Georgina Theodora Wood, however, said reasons for the dismissal would be incorporated into the final determination of the substantive suit.

The court tasked the EC, the Attorney General (AG), and the plaintiffs to engage in dialogue over the reliefs being sought to ensure a clean register for the country. The limited registration exercise is expected to begin in April this year.

The court further encouraged the EC to engage more with relevant stakeholders in the election to ensure a more transparent process ahead of the November polls.

According to Justice Jones Victor Dotse, a member of the panel, it was better to go to the polls with a credible register while Justice Sule Gbadegbe noted that tolerance and compliance would also promote peaceful elections.

The Supreme Court is expected to hear the substantive suit in April.

Mrs Dorothy Afriyie Ansah, a Chief State Attorney, said the state relied on its statement of case and affidavit in opposition.

Mr Thaddeus Sory, who represented the EC, urged the court to dismiss the application because the plaintiff would not suffer any irreparable damage.

According to Mr Sory, the EC had moved to sanitise the Voters Register.

Abu Ramadan, a former National Youth Organiser of the People’s National Convention, had gone to court with an interlocutory injunction against the EC to prevent it from going ahead with the Abuakwa North Constituency by-election and the limited registration exercise.

Abu Ramadan, in his application, argued that it would be “contemptuous” for the EC to conduct the by-election in Abuakwa using the current voters’ register, saying he was challenging the credibility of the said Register 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.

Given the pendency of the substantive suit and the unresolved issues motivating same, Ramadan contended that it would be improper and pre-judicial for the 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 an additional cost to the republic and her citizens.

Source: GNA

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