The National Democratic Party (NDP) and two others have dragged the Electoral Commission (EC) to court over the disqualification of its presidential candidate, Mrs Nana Konadu Agyemang Rawlings, from contesting the December 7, 2016 presidential election.
The NDP, Nana Konadu Agyemang Rawlings and her running mate, Mr Kodjo Mensah Sosuh, want the court to order the EC to rescind its decision and accordingly allow the applicants to stand for the December 7, 2016 presidential election.
The applicants are seeking 15 reliefs from the court and among them are a declaration that the EC’s acts and decision to disqualify Nana Konadu are “unfair, unreasonable, arbitrary, capricious and prejudiced against the applicants; not in accordance with due process of law and do not comply on the requirements imposed on the 1st Respondent by law”.
The first respondent is the EC, while the Attorney-General has been attached as the second respondent.
Among the reliefs, the applicants are also seeking an order quashing the EC’s October 10, 2016 decision not to accept the applicants’ nominations, as well as an order prohibiting and restraining the EC, its chairperson, commissioners and agents from acting or taking any steps pursuant to the October 10, 2016 decision.
They are also praying the court for a declaration that Nana Konadu and Mr Sosuh stand duly, legally and properly nominated as the NDP’s presidential and vice-presidential nominees for the 2016 presidential elections.
The applicants are asking the court to hold that pursuant to Regulation 9 of CI 94, nominations towards a public election do not and cannot close until the EC has been presented with and received the potential candidates’ nomination papers, statutory declarations and deposits of the nomination/filing fees by bank draft.
They are urging the court to declare that the effect of the decision by the EC to defer the acceptance of deposits of nomination/filing fees until October 10, 2016, was to extend the nomination period until after that date.
The court is being called upon to also hold that the EC’s claim that the nomination period ended on September 30, 2016, was illegal and of no effect.
Another relief being sought by the applicants is a declaration that pursuant to Regulation 9 of CI 94, the EC and Mrs Osei are “under a legal obligation to, before the close of nominations, and in all instances either where they determine that the particulars of a person subscribing to a nomination paper are not as required by law, or where a nomination paper is not subscribed to as required by law, inform the affected persons of that matter and afford the affected persons an opportunity to make any necessary amendments or alterations.
“A further declaration that pursuant to Regulation 9 of CI 94, the powers of the 1st respondent’s returning officer for the 2016 presidential election to consider a nomination paper as invalid and accordingly endorse and sign same with the reasons therefor, and then inform the 1st respondent for a decision, are only conferred by law and exercisable where the affected candidate has failed to effect the necessary amendments or alterations, after the said returning officer has informed that affected candidate of either the wrongful particulars or wrongful subscription, and afforded the candidate an opportunity to make necessary amendments or alterations”, the reliefs said.
The applicants are asking the court to declare that the EC and Mrs Osei failed, refused or neglected to comply with the legal obligations under Regulation 9 of CI 94 in relation to the applicants and their nomination paper that was presented to and received by the EC and Mrs Osei for the 2016 presidential election.
They want a further declaration that the EC’s and its Chair’s failure to comply with the legal obligations under Regulation 9 of CI 94 constituted a breach of the rules of natural justice because they did not afford the applicants a fair opportunity to be heard before taking a decision not to accept their nomination paper.
Another declaration being sought by applicants is that the EC erred in law when it decided not to accept the applicants’ nomination paper, thereby wrongfully and illegally disqualifying the applicants from contesting the 2016 presidential election.
The applicants want the court to hold that upon the proper interpretation of Section 27 of the Representation of People Act, 1992 (PNDCL 284), a person was only disqualified from voting after having been tried for an electoral or registration offence and having been convicted and sentenced by a court of law to serve a term of imprisonment;
A declaration that the EC erred in law when it determined that one Salifu Abdulai, a subscriber to the applicants’ nomination paper was disqualified from voting and, therefore, was not a validly registered voter, thereby nullifying his nomination of the applicants, when the said Salifu Abdulai had neither been convicted by any court of law for any electoral or registration offence nor served any term of imprisonment in accordance with section 27 of PNDCL 284 is also being asked for by the applicants.
The EC, on Monday, October 10, 2016 disqualified 12 presidential aspirants, including Nana Konadu from contesting the December 7, 2016 elections for various reasons ranging from forgery, impersonation and perjury.
A number of the 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 same names and voter registration details.
According to EC they only changed their signatures.
Addressing a press conference on Monday in Accra, Mrs Osei indicated issues of forgery, perjury, impersonation and deceit of public officer would be referred to the Ghana Police Service and the Attorney General for investigations and prosecution.