General News of Thu, 27 Oct 20169
Court rules on JOY's case against EC October 31
An Accra Human Rights Court will on October 31 deliver its judgement in the case brought against the Electoral Commission (EC) by Jacob Osei Yeboah aka JOY – an independent presidential candidate for the December 7 elections – over the credibility of the register of voters.
The court could earlier not deliver the judgement because the mandate of the judge presiding over the case had expired and as such a warrant was required from the Chief Justice (CJ).
In the view of the judge, Justice Gifty Adjei Addo, the warrant would enable her to discharge that duty.
The independent presidential aspirant and two other applicants – Joint Alliance Youth Movement, a civil society organization and Macho Men for Good & Justice – had hauled the EC to the court over the current register, doubting its credibility because “it has names of dead persons on it.”
In an affidavit in support of the motion on notice for judicial review in the nature of an order of mandamus, Peter Kwaku Nti,, lawyer for JOY, said that the nation had spent or invested considerable resources in a biometric technology application to achieve a credible biometric voter register.
He said that a credible biometric voter register (BVR) will ensure and positively reinforce the nation’s declaration and belief in universal adult suffrage, adding that a credible BVR will ensure a safe situation of free and fair elections.
According to the lawyer, CI 91 – the law intended to regulate the creation of credible biometric voter register – in its present form is inadequate for the work it was designed for.
He noted that what is found to be inadequate is the absence of a finger print identification of a voter.
Mr Kwaku Nti further argued that “……CI 91 has no Regulations to challenge the participation of the dead/deceased in our electoral process; and require the deletion of same from the BVR.
He noted that it is estimated from Ghana Statistical Services figures that the dead comprise approximately 4.5% of the voter population.
Nti contended that with 4.5% of the voters being deceased and not removed from the BVR, there is the high probability that the dead voters have been deciding election results hence, the need to order their removal.
The applicants however want an order to compel the EC to delete the deceased, minors and any “undesirables” through Exhibition Verification process.
JOY also seeks an order to compel Respondent to initiate steps to amend the CI 91, R23 (2a) within a reasonable time before the 7th December elections and an order to compel the Respondent to re-open/extend the Exhibition for another Seven (7) days to give opportunity for intended voters to verify their names in order to cast their votes on the day of the elections.