The Supreme Court has ordered Ghana’s Electoral Commission to extend nomination period to Tuesday, November 8 to allow all the disqualified presidential nominees to correct all errors on their nomination forms.
It has also ordered a stay of the hearing of all cases challenging the disqualification of the affected presidential nominees.
The Commission on October 10 disqualified 13 presidential nominees after it detected different errors on their nomination forms.
Reasons for the disqualification of the nominees including independent aspirants, ranged from irregularities regarding voter’s ID cards of witnesses, forgery, incomplete forms, different signatures of nominees and invalid endorsement among others.
But some of the nominees including the Progressive People’s Party’s Dr Papa Kwesi Nduom challenged his disqualification at the High Court which ordered the EC to allow him the chance to rectify all errors on his nomination forms.
The High Court in that decision ruled that the EC sidestepped its own laws by not setting a nomination period and also not allowing the nominees the opportunity to rectify mistakes on their forms before the disqualification.
However, the EC disagreed with the High Court ruling and consequently moved to the Supreme Court to have it quashed on grounds that the High Court erred on the basis of wrongful and excess of jurisdiction among others.
At the Supreme Court’s sitting Monday, the panel presided over by Justice Sophia Adinyira affirmed the decision of the High Court in parts, noting the court presided over by Justice Eric Kyei Baffour had the jurisdiction to hear the case as brought by the PPP.
It, however, agreed with the lawyers for the EC on the grounds that the High Court exceeded its jurisdiction in ordering the EC to allow the Dr Nduom the opportunity to correct anomalies on his nomination forms.
EC welcomes SC decison
Counsel for the Electoral Commission, Thaddeus Sory, has welcomed the decision of the Supreme Court, describing it as a “victory for democracy,” especially so when the court upheld one ground of their appeal.
“It is a victory for democracy. The court was very categorical in its orders. We came here on three grounds; error of law, wrongful assumption of jurisdiction, excess of jurisdiction. The court agreed with us that there was an evidence that there was an error of law on the face of the record,” he said.
We’ll meet the deadline – Ayikoi Otoo
On his part, counsel for the Progressive People’s Party, Nii Ayikoi Otoo, who had prayed the court for more time to enable the nominees rectify their errors was excited about the decision.
“You see, today is Monday and the close of day tomorrow, 5 O’clock may not suit everybody so I thought perhaps Wednesday could have been better so that they have today and tomorrow to do the corrections so that [by the] close of Wednesday, they present them” he explained
Notwithstanding, he said his client will be able to meet the Tuesday deadline, saying
“We have only one anomaly that we would deal with immediately”.
By Stephen Kwabena Effah|3news.com|Ghana