Judge exceeded his remit in PPP's case – NDC Lawyer
Private legal practitioner and a member of the National Democratic Congress's (NDCs) legal team, Lawyer David Annan said the High Court judge, Justice Eric Kyei Baffuor’s order to the Electoral Commission (EC) to allow the Progressive Peoples Party’s flag bearer, Dr. Papa Kwesi Nduom correct the anomalies on his presidential nomination forms proves clearly an extension of Jurisdiction on the part of the High Court against the Electoral Commission (EC).
The Presidential candidate for the Progressive People’s Party (PPP) and 12 other presidential nominees were disqualified from contesting in the December 7 polls. The EC ChairCharlotte Osei added that, “The Commission will refer the matter of a possible forgery of signatures to the Ghana Police Service and the Attorney General for investigation and prosecution in line with the Criminal Offence Act.”
According to Lawyer Annan, the judge who issued the order to the Electoral Commission (EC) to allow Papa Kwesi Nduom amend his form is interfering with the Criminal Offence Act which the forms filled by the Progressive Peoples Party’s flag bearer earlier invited.
“The judgment by which Paa Kwesi Nduom is busy screaming, shouting and clapping about should be sent for the same certiorari by the Supreme Court to be quashed by excessiveness of jurisdiction. The judge jumped the gun to compelling EC to allow Dr. Papa Kwesi a chance to contest. A judgment like this is clearly an extension of jurisdiction on part of the law court” he said in an interview on Accra based Radio Gold.
“If you tell EC that by my order allow the PPP amend their forms then it means their impending criminal charges in line with the Criminal Offence Act, are being removed or erased. What exists now is an amendment without the criminal charges. If so, what is the EC utilizing as a basis to support and report the PPP’s flag bearer to police as evidence for their criminal offences?” he quizzed.
According to Lawyer Annan, "the power of jurisdiction does not reside in the Judge to order EC to allow Nduom’s amendments but rather order the EC to have a hearing to PPP’s case amicably. If EC in their perfect jurisdiction will allow PPP any amendments, then so be it. Otherwise, they are prone to be prosecuted.”
“What the judge should have done was to order the EC to give Nduom a hearing. Period. Don’t go beyond ordering EC to give them [PPP] a hearing to allow them amend their mistakes. EC rather have the jurisdiction to determine whether Paa Kwesi is to be allowed to make the amendments. So what is the purpose of any hearing by the EC when there is already an outcome declared?” he said.
“A judgment of this kind is clearly out of jurisdiction. If they [PPP] had gone on a merit application they would have failed totally” he concluded.