Election 2016: 17 courts to handle electoral disputes

The Chief Justice, Mrs Justice Georgina Theodora Wood, has designated 17 specialised courts to deal with electoral disputes that may arise before the December 7, 2016 presidential and parliamentary elections.

Seventeen High Court judges have been assigned to handle anticipated electoral disputes throughout the country.

The appointed justices, according to the Judicial Secretary, Mr Justice Alex Poku-Acheampong have been tasked to handle the cases expeditiously.

He gave the breakdown of the judges assigned as follows: Greater Accra, six; Ashanti and Western, two each, while Eastern, Central, Upper West, Upper East, Northern, Volta and Brong Ahafo have been assigned a judge each.

Concerns

There are concerns that the December 7, 2016 electoral calendar could be negatively affected following the rising number of disputes between presidential aspirants and the Electoral Commission (EC), but the Judicial Secretary said there was no cause for alarm.

“These specialised courts for electoral disputes will ensure that cases are heard expeditiously and on a day-to-day basis,” Mr Poku-Acheampong said.

Disqualifications

A number of subscribers of the presidential aspirants did not meet the requirements as stipulated in the Constitutional Instrument (C.I.) 94 meant for the conduct of the elections

Some of the subscribers also sponsored more than one candidate with the same names and voter registration details.

According to the EC, they only changed their signatures.

At a press conference in Accra on Monday, October 10, 2016, the Chairperson of the EC, Mrs Charlotte Osei, disqualified 12 presidential aspirants.

They were disqualified on the grounds of forgery, perjury, impersonation and deceit of public officer.

Mrs Osei said the issue would be referred to the Ghana Police Service and the Attorney General for investigations and prosecution.

Those disqualified are Dr Papa Kwesi Nduom of the Progressive People’s Party (PPP), Mr Hassan Ayariga of the All People’s Congress (APC), Dr Edward Nasigre Mahama of the People’s National Convention (PNC) and Mr Kofi Apaloo of Independent People’s Party (IPP).

Others are Mr T.N. Ward Brew of the Democratic People’s Party (DPP), Mr Henry Lartey of the Great Consolidated Popular Party (GCPP), Richard Tetteh of the United Development Systems Party (UDSP), Akua Donkor of the Ghana Freedom Party (GFP), Nana Agyenim Boateng of the United Freedom Party (UFP) and Nana Konadu Agyeman-Rawlings of the National Democratic Party (NDP)..

The others are Kwabena Agyei of RPD and Kwame Asiedu Walker, an independent candidate.

Only four presidential aspirants were cleared by the EC to contest Election 2016.

Dr Nduom, on October 14, 2016, filed an application for judicial review praying the High Court to quash the EC’s decision to disqualify him from contesting in the December 7, 2016 presidential election.Other aspirants, including Nana Konadu, have indicated their intention to sue the EC.

Source: Graphic Online

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