EC appeals to Supreme Court to quash decision in favour of Dr. Nduom

Charlotte Osei - EC Chair
Charlotte Osei – EC Chair

The Electoral Commission (EC) has appealed to the Supreme Court to quash the decision of an Accra High Court in favour of Dr. Papa Kwesi Nduom, the presidential candidate of the Progressive People’s Party (PPP).

The EC says it has completed a review of the judgment of the High Court, dated October 28, 2016 in the case of the Republic v Mrs. Charlotte Osei & Electoral Commission; Ex parte Dr. Papa Kwesi Nduom, numbered GT1401/2016.

“Having carefully studied the contents of the judgment, we respectfully disagree with the High Court judge’s decision on several essential legal and public policy grounds,” it says.

In a press release issued in Accra Monday October 31, 2016, and copied to, the EC argued among other things that in the interest of public policy and the credibility of the electoral process, the Commission has today filed an application at the Supreme Court to quash the High Court decision and seek clarity on the relevant aspects of the law on candidate nominations.

The EC had disqualified Dr. Nduom for the following reasons the EC had said:

The Commission is unable to accept Dr. Nduom’s nomination because the number of subscribers to his forms did not meet the requirements of Regulation 7 (2) (b) of CI 94. The details are as follows:

– One subscriber Richard Aseda (‘Asida’ on the Voters’ Register), with Voter ID no 7812003957) endorsed the forms in two different districts (pages 21 and 39).

The subscriber was found to be on the Voter’s Register in one district thereby disqualifying his second subscription and reducing the total number of subscribers to below the minimum required by the Law.

The same subscriber (Richard Aseda (‘Asida’) endorsed the form with different signatures in both portions of the nomination form. This raises questions as to the legitimacy of one or both signatures.

We will refer the matter of the possible forgery of the signature(s) to the Ghana Police Service and the Attorney General for investigation and prosecution in line with the following sections of the Criminal Offences Act, 1960 (Act 29):

Section 211: Perjury

Section 248: making false declaration etc. for office or voting;

Section 251: Deceiving a public officer

Section 256: Corruption, Intimidation and personation in respect of election.

Dr. Nduom went to court, and the Accra High Court overturned the decision of the EC to disqualify him from contesting the December presidential polls.

The court ruled that the denial of Dr. Nduom by the EC was fatal and incurably bad and ordered the EC to allow him to make amends and alterations on his nomination form and same accepted by the commission.

Quashing the decision of the EC, the court presided over by Mr Justice Eric Kyei Baffour ruled that “the EC had no basis to complain that the nomination period  had closed when they had not set  any dates.’’

“They (EC) only set nomination day under the regulation 7 but not nomination period under regulation 96 of CI 94…I trust and hold  that this ruling would dissolve the perception about CI 94 especially regulation 7 and 9 that had been area of controversy,” it added.

The EC indicated further in its appeal that it is of the firm conviction backed by the law, that candidates seeking the highest office of the land, must take full responsibility for ensuring that their nomination forms meet the standard in form and substance, required by the law.

“The Commission is further of the view that falsified signatures on nomination forms constitute a matter for criminal investigation and are not mere anomalies or clerical errors, which should be pointed out to candidates for corrections to be effected and believes that, as in other jurisdictions, presidential candidates must ensure the accuracy of the information on documents which they present under oath to public institutions. Failure to place this burden on the shoulders of the candidates, has serious implications for our democratic growth and electoral justice,” it said.

The EC is therefore asking the Supreme Court to in the interest of public policy and the credibility of the electoral process, to quash the High Court decision and seek clarity on the relevant aspects of the law on candidate nominations.

“We believe it is in the overall national interest and on the grounds of public policy that the Supreme Court provides clarity on this matter. A judgment from the Apex Court would effectively bring finality to the issue once and for all,” it said, adding that “in the interest of national peace and cohesion, we respectfully implore the Highest Court of the land to determine our application expeditiously in accordance with the earlier directive of Her Ladyship the Chief Justice and for the sake of the electoral calendar.”

Dr. Nduom and other 12 candidates were disqualified for various levels of offences, according the EC.

By Emmanuel K. Dogbevi
Copyright © 2016 by Creative Imaginations Publicity
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