NPP going to court the best “civil alternative”, says Former Minister of Justice

A former Minister of Justice and Attorney General has pointed out that the New Patriotic Party’s challenge of the 2012 Presidential Elections in court is the best “civil alternative”.

Lawyer Nii Ayikoi Otoo, who failed in an attempt to return to Parliament in the just-ended elections, said the action of the NPP is better than taking to the streets and causing mayhem.

“The Constitution provides that we can challenge the validity of election results,” he said on TV 3’s late night news broadcast programme, [email protected]

Speaking to host Bright Nana Amfoh on Wednesday, Nii Ayikoi Otoo justified his party’s pursuit of the ‘Stolen Verdict II’ in court by stating that it is a reason why such “provision was put in the constitution.”

He accused the ruling National Democratic Congress (NDC) for deliberately frustrating voters by way of keeping electoral materials long before voting while officers arrived at some polling centers late.

“They were deliberately keeping the people, frustrating them so that they could go home,” he complained, noting that some of the officers got to the centers at 1:00pm on voting day.

He explained that many defeated parliamentary candidates are waiting “for the gazette” from the NPP to also file a suit against the results at the constituency level.

He told Bright Nana Amfoh that there will be several writs from defeated parliamentary aspirants against results.

Contributing to the programme via phone, Ernest Kofi Abotsi, a lecturer at the Ghana Institute of Management and Public Administration (GIMPA) argued that NPP as a party cannot file a suit against the results of the elections as the constitution only mandates a “citizen of Ghana” to do that.

On the question of the case travelling beyond January 7, 2013 by which time the President and Vice President would have been sworn in, Mr Abotsi revealed that the court works in two ways – administratively and happenings in court – and that the former phase may delay the process to drag it beyond the swearing-in date.

While agreeing with Mr Abotsi on the “citizen of Ghana” filing the writ, Mr Otoo, reading Article 64 of the Constitution, stated that the law mandates the court to offer “a day-to-day hearing” to persons challenging election results.

“The most beautiful aspect of all is that hearing is also on weekends,” he added.


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