- Tsatsu Tsikata, representing petitioners challenging the election of Peter Amewu as MP for Hohoe says the denial of the people of SALL the right to vote affects the Hohoe elections
- Tsikata argues that the Electoral Commission's admissions, especially regarding the status of SALL Traditional Areas, justify granting reliefs sought by the petitioners
- Counsel for the Electoral Commission, however, stated that declaratory reliefs require a full trial and insisted that the admissions do not undermine the validity of the election results
Renowned lawyer, Tsatsu Tsikata, representing petitioners challenging the election of Peter Amewu as MP for Hohoe constituency, told a High Court in Ho that the denial of voting rights in the SALL Traditional Areas significantly impacted the parliamentary election.
Tsikata is representing Professor Margaret Kweku and four other petitioners.
Prof Kweku, the 2020 parliamentary candidate for the NDC for the Hohoe constituency, stormed the high court in 2021 with four others, i.e. Simon Alan Opoku-Mintah, John Kwame Obompeh, Godfred Koku Fofie and Felix, praying the court to compel the EC to conduct a rerun of parliamentary elections in the constituency.
The rerun of the polls is among the three reliefs being sought by Prof Kweku and the interested parties.
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Addressing the court presided over by Justice Owoahene Acheampong on Friday, November 17, 2023, Tsikata argued that the continued exclusion of SALL [Santrofi, Akpafu, Lolobi and Likpe] Traditional Areas from representation in the 8th Parliament of the 4th Republic poses a threat to Ghana's democracy.
He urged the court to grant the reliefs sought by the petitioners, stressing that the Electoral Commission's admissions justified such actions.
The key admission referred to by Tsikata was the acknowledgement by the Electoral Commission that the SALL Traditional Areas were not a district at the time Constitutional Instrument 112 of 2019, creating the Oti Region, took effect. By scrutinizing Constitutional Instrument 112, Tsikata contended that whatever was not a district in the specified schedule was not included in the Oti Region.
The "SALL Traditional Areas" were not a district but part of the Hohoe Municipality, as confirmed by the Commission.
Tsikata further argued that the Electoral Commission unlawfully usurped power by amending Constitutional Instrument 95, claiming that the Commission lacks the authority to create or alter district boundaries. According to him, the use of C.I. 128 and C.I. 119 disenfranchised voters in the SALL Traditional Areas and created a constitutional predicament.
Highlighting the timing of these instruments, Tsikata asserted that they were not in effect during the December 7, 2020, election, as they could only become operational after the dissolution of the 7th Parliament on January 6, 2021.
Consequently, he urged the court to set aside the election results in the Hohoe constituency and call for a new election involving voters from the SALL Traditional Areas.
Responding to Tsikata's submissions, Counsel for the Electoral Commission, Sekyi-Boampong, argued that the petitioners sought declaratory reliefs, necessitating a full trial before the court could grant such reliefs.
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He referred to legal precedents and insisted that the application was not properly before the court. Sekyi-Boampong contended that the admissions by the Electoral Commission were specific to the Hohoe Municipality Establishment and not directly related to the election results.
Despite the contrasting arguments, Justice Owoahene Acheampong adjourned the case to December 21, 2023, for his ruling.
Sekyi-Boampong suggested a later date in January 2024, emphasizing the need for a trial. However, Tsikata underscored the urgency of the matter, advocating for a swift resolution. Justice Acheampong maintained the original date for the ruling.
Peter Amewu, the 2nd Respondent, claimed shortly after winning the elections in 2020 that he had made history, however, he remained absent from court, raising concerns about his representation.
Justice Acheampong sought confirmation of the notice served to Amewu, with the records affirming the delivery.
The NDC backs the Petitioners as some party executives have said the constituency was deliberately split so Amewu could win the polls.
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