Ghana’s Electoral Commission (EC) has temporarily been stopped from going ahead with a planned workshop on the controversial new voters’ register set to be compiled for the country’s polls in December this year.
Despite the outbreak of the deadly coronavirus in the country and the ban on public gatherings, the Commission last week announced it will hold a planning meeting with all its directors and deputy directors across the country from April 24 to 29 at Prampram.
The planned meeting, which has been criticized, the EC explained, seeks to afford its officials the opportunity to prepare and plan for the voters’ registration exercise that has already been suspended indefinitely due to the pandemic.
“Due to the State’s directive on social gathering, the meeting will be conducted in three batches of twenty-five participants per batch and each batch will have two meeting days,” the EC said in its memo to participants of the planned meeting.
But the MP for Ningo-Prampram, Sam George, who is against the move by the EC filed an ex-parte motion for an interim injunction at the Accra High Court on Friday April 24 to prevent the EC from going ahead with the said workshop in his constituency.
The court presided over by Justice John Eugene Nyante Nyadu upon hearing the application moved by lawyer Justice Srem-Sai ordered the EC and all its officials from going ahead with the meeting.
“It is hereby ordered that the respondent and all persons claiming through the respondent (EC) refrain from holding the workshop or conference scheduled to take place at the Escape Hotel Prampram from the 24th of April, 2020,” the court ruled.
The order, according to the court, will expire on April 27.
In a Facebook post shortly after the court ruling, the MP described the posturing of the EC whose chair he said is a lawyer as “most unfortunate”.
“That decision by a Commissioner who is a lawyer and her deputy who is a political science University Don is most unfortunate as it is a flagrant disregard for law and an abuse of legal reasoning,” he said in the post.
Describing himself as “a responsible citizen who respects the laws of the land”, Mr Sam George explained he felt obliged take legal step to stop “what amounts to an illegal action by a Constitutional body”.
“I am committed to continue representing my people in the best way possible especially in these trying pandemic times. This is my modest contribution to ensuring the rule of law is respected and that we overcome the COVID-19 scourge,” he said.
He expressed the hope that persons entrusted with public responsibility act in the best interests of the citizenry, indicating “We need to remain citizens and not spectators”.