General News Tue, 1 Nov 2016

Ayariga only being emotional – EC's Lawyer

Counsel for the Electoral Commission Thaddeus Sory has asked the High Court to dismiss a suit seeking to overturn the commission’s decision to disqualify APC Presidential candidate Hassan Ayariga.

He argued that Hassan Ayariga’s suit is an emotional application that is not grounded in law.

He is questioning how Hassan Ayariga can claim he was not treated fairly even after he had been given the opportunity to make 30 corrections on his nomination forms.

The two other errors which formed the basis of his disqualification from the 2016 presidential elections is the subject of the court suit against the EC.

According to the EC, two persons who endorsed Hassan Ayariga’s presidential nomination forms also endorsed another presidential candidate which goes against the rules governing the 2016 general elections, that is Regulation 7(2) (b) of CI 94.

By striking out the two subscribers, the EC said Hassan Ayariga failed to obtain the 432 signatures needed for a candidate to qualify to stand for the elections.

Peeved by this reason, Mr Ayariga headed to the High Court to challenge his disqualification to contest this year’s election.

On the first day of the court, the parties were ordered to file a statement of case on Friday 28, October 2016. But they both failed.

On the second day of the hearing at the Accra High Court, the two legal practitioners used part of the second hearing Tuesday to explain their inability to meet the directive.

The lawyer for the Commission, Thaddeus Sory cited a litany of court cases against the EC as a reason for not filing the statement of case. While Hassan Ayariga’s counsel, Maxwell Logan filed on Tuesday stating the delay was because he was unwell.

Moving on to the substantive issue, Thaddeus Sory argued in court that the entirety of this case is based on whether the EC gave them the chance to correct the mistake.

According to Sory, the EC did draw their attention but for the two ‘mistakes’ of having double subscribers. This was because that ‘mistake’ is a breach of the law which forms grounds for disqualification.

“Our refusal to reply to their letter doesn’t mean we have breached any law, the rule is clear that double subscription is a reason for invalidation”, Thaddeus Sory continued his case.

He said the fact that APC’s Hassan Ayariga and his counsel Logan have admitted that their attention was drawn to 30 errors shows the EC gave them the opportunity.

He argued that the EC could not draw the attention of the APC presidential candidate to the two other errors because it was too late to do so.

“For the other mistakes ,we discovered them after the nomination period, the period had ended and they are here arguing that we extend the period for each error,” Sory indicated.

He said the Hassan Ayariga “is only being emotional, my lady dismiss their application.”

Presiding judge Barbara Tetteh-Charway adjourned the hearing to Friday, November 4 for the ruling.

Source: Myjoyonline.com
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