Ghana: Court cases on December polls dominate Ghanaian media

Accra, Ghana (PANA) – A flood of court cases as Ghana heads for general elections on 7 December dominated the media in the country this week.

“Nduom sails through in court over disqualification,” was the headline of Graphic Online on Friday after a Court in Accra ordered the Electoral Commission (EC) to allow Dr Papa Kwesi Nduom, presidential candidate of the Progressive People’s Party (PPP), to correct the error on his nomination papers, for which reason he was disqualified from contesting the 7 December poll.

The Graphic story said Dr Nduom had sailed through in court following the ruling that the EC’s refusal to afford him the opportunity to correct errors on his nomination forms was a breach of the rules of natural justice.

The court said the EC did not give Dr Nduom the fair opportunity to amend mistakes on his nomination forms.

“This means, Dr Nduom ... would have to go back to the EC to make the necessary correction on his nomination forms to be considered as a candidate for the December 7 presidential race,” Graphic reported.

Dr Nduom was one of 13 aspirants who were disqualified from contesting this year's presidential elections for failing to meet the requirements, the several of them for errors on their nomination papers.

He was disqualified by the EC because one of the 432 people who endorsed the nomination papers said he was a voter in two separate districts in the Central Region and Volta Region, which the EC found was fraudulent.

Dr Nduom broke away from the Convention People’s Party (CPP) to form the PPP. He made little impact in the 2012 election, coming a distant third with only 0.59% of the votes. Earlier in 2008, he contested the election on the ticket of the CPP, and also came third with 1.32% of the votes.

“Nana Konadu drags EC to court again after losing earlier suit,” was the headline of the Graphic on another court case filed by former first lady Nana Konadu Agyeman Rawlings.

The story said  the flag bearer of the National Democratic Party (NDP), Nana Konadu, had again taken the EC to court, barely four hours after her first suit challenging her disqualification from the December polls was struck out by the Accra High Court.

The court, presided over by Mr Justice George K. Koomson, described Nana Konadu’s suit as “incompetent” and dismissed it on procedural grounds.

The court held that it was wrong for the presidential aspirant to seek judicial review of the EC’s decision to disqualify her and also an enforcement of her fundamental human rights in one writ.

The Graphic said the former first lady filed a fresh application at the Human Rights Division of the Accra High Court seeking an enforcement of her fundamental human rights.

In another story under the headline, “Ayariga battles EC in court”, the newspaper said the legal ‘warfare’ initiated by Hassan Ayariga, the presidential aspirant of the All People’s Congress (APC), to have his disqualification by the EC annulled would play out in court on 31 October.

The story said the judge, Ms Barbara Teteh-Charway, fixed the date after it abridged the time for the hearing of the case to fast track its adjudication.

Counsel for the EC, Mr Thaddeus Sory, and counsel for Mr Ayariga, Mr Maxwell Komla Logan, both agreed with the court’s decision to abridge the time of the hearing to ensure its speedy resolution.

In another court case, the Supreme Court has directed the EC to furnish agents of political parties with collation sheets containing signed declared results for presidential and parliamentary elections.

In a story with the headline “Supreme Court orders EC; Give signed results to party agents,”, the Graphic said the Supreme Court ordered that provision should be made on the parliamentary and presidential result collation forms for the names and signatures of the returning officers at the constituency collation centres, the candidates or their representatives or counting agents.

Another directive from the court was that the returning officer, the candidates or their representatives or counting agents should sign the forms.

It also directed returning officers to give each candidate or their representatives or counting agents a completed and signed copy of the form.
-0- PANA MA/VAO 29Oct2016

29 october 2016 06:41:50

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