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Court dismisses contempt application against EC Chair, 2 deputies – But applicant files appeal

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The High Court in Tema has dismissed an application brought against the Chairperson of the Electoral Commission (EC), Jean Mensa, and her two deputies for contempt of court over the limited voter registration exercise. 

The applicant, Precious Ayitah, had prayed the High Court to commit Mrs Mensa, Dr Eric Bossman Asare and Samuel Tettey for contempt of court for going ahead with the limited registration exercise in the district offices of the EC despite an injunction application she filed that sought to put the exercise on hold.3

Ruling

The court, presided over by Justice Patricia Quansah, last Friday dismissed the contempt application against the respondents on grounds that it was without basis and awarded a nominal cost of GH¢2,000 against the applicant.

The judge in announcing the decision said the applicant was unable to establish a case against the respondents and also unable to prove that the respondents were personally served with the order of the court.

The allegation that the application was served on one Daniel Addae Nyamekye, designated as a Legal Secretary at the Head office of the EC could not also be proved.

The court said the EC argued that there was no such position as Legal Secretary and no such person known as Daniel Addai Nyamekye is in the employment of the EC.

The court agreed with the EC and held that if there was any doubt it ought to go in favour of the respondents, and that the applicant had failed to prove that the three commissioners were duly served, thus the application was without basis.

The court indicated that the evidence adduced by the applicant was not strong enough to enable the court to commit the respondents to contempt.

Appeal

Meanwhile the applicant, who was dissatisfied with the ruling of the High Court, filed an appeal at the Court of Appeal to overturn the ruling.

The Lawyer for the applicant, Nii Kpakpo Samoa Addo, told the Daily Graphic that the appeal was filed last Friday.

Background

In her contempt suit against the EC Chairperson and her deputies, Ms Ayitah, a resident of Otsebleku, near Afienya in the Greater Accra Region, which is about 44.3 kilometres from the district office of the EC in Prampram, said the originating motion on notice and interlocutory injunction was served on the respondents on September 8, 2023, to restrain them from going ahead with the limited registration exercise in the district offices of the EC.

She argued that the respondents disregarded the said injunction application and proceeded with the limited registration exercise in the district offices of the EC.

Ms Ayitah, in her affidavit in support of the application, said the respondent’s intention to proceed with the limited registration exercise at the district offices jeopardised the outcome of the initial interlocutory injunction application and the substantive suit that was brought to the court, hence contemptuous of the court.

SOURCE: GRAPHIC ONLINE