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General News Thu, 27 Oct 2016

Dismissal of Nana Konadu's suit victory for procedural law – lecturer

A law lecturer has lauded the decision by an Accra High Court to strike out a suit in which the National Democratic Party’s (NDP) flagbearer, Nana Konadu Agyemang Rawlings was challenging her disqualification by the EC.

Yaw Oppong told Raymond Acquah, host of Joy FM’s Top Story programme Thursday that the NDP leader might have a good case, but because her lawyer followed the wrong procedure, the court had no option than to throw out the case as happened.

“I was in court today when I heard the ruling and I just told myself that this is one of the examples lawyers would be reminded that procedural rules if not important are equally important as substantive rules or substantive law,” he said.

NDC was unhappy with Justice George Koomson's ruling Wednesday in which the procedure its lawyer followed to file the case was challenged.

The judge explained the joint application in which Nana Konadu’s lawyer wants the EC’s disqualification decision to be reviewed and in another vein, wants the former First Lady’s fundamental human right to vote and be voted for upheld.

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The Judge registered his disappointment describing the suit as incompetent and slapped a GHC10,000 fine on the applicants.

The court’s ruling has been given varied interpretations. While functionaries of NDP believe their case was not quashed, some lawyers say the case was thrown out.

Commenting on the issue on Joy News, NPP Communications Director, Ernest Owusu Bempah said the court did not dismiss their case but rather upheld one of the seven objections raised by the EC.

"We sued the EC and Attorney General based on plenary objections. Seven objections were raised by the EC, six were dismissed and one was upheld and that’s what the judge asked us to go back and address it," he said.

But Yaw Oppong says juxtaposing his reading of the law and the ruling of the court, the NDP leader’s case was thrown out.

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He said the onus lies on the former First Lady’s lawyer to follow the procedure to seek a judicial review of the matter.

“At least when you use the wrong procedure to enter, they will throw you out with analogous rules,” he said.

The Central University Law School lecturer said one of the profound declaration made by a court on the issue of the importance of procedure was the Justice Anim Yeboah ruling which is referred to as “solicitors’ license case.”

He quoted the judge as saying, “Justice has always been administered according to laid down rules. Indeed I am compelled to think that in the contemporary situation justice cannot be administered if there are no rules regulating the procedure which solicitors are trained for.”

Mr Oppong said the Constitutional Instrument (C.I.47) does not encourage solicitors to sacrifice procedure in their quest for justice, adding the importance of procedure cannot be overemphasized.

Source: Myjoyonline.com
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