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General News Thu, 1 Jan 2009

Judge says no to NPP

The Fast Track High Court has refused to hear an ex-parte motion by the New Patriotic Party and its chairman, Peter Mac Manu, seeking an injunction on the Chairman of the Electoral Commission from announcing a winner of the presidential election.


Justice Amoako Asante ordered the plaintiffs to come to court by motion on notice, and by so doing serve the Electoral Commission and the National Democratic Congress as interest parties to enable them participate in the case.


The application primarily seeks to place an injunction on the EC from announcing a winner and next President of Ghana until claims of electoral fraud during the December 28 presidential runoff have been investigated and thoroughly thrashed.


The judge subsequently ordered the NPP and its chairman to serve the NDC and the EC copies of the process by 10am Friday, to enable the respondents file written responses by 11am Saturday so they can be heard.


According to Joy News reporter, Evans Mensah, the judge explained that the substance of the application was of national importance and so grave to the national health it was not proper for the plaintiffs to come by an ex-parte motion.


According to Mensah, a team of lawyers representing the NDC who had gone to the court following hints of such a case being filed, were profusely grateful to the judge for his ruling.

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They had entertained fears a ruling in favour of the application could have serious implication for the outstanding Tain Constituency presidential runoff, scheduled for tomorrow Friday, January 2.


There were hot exchanges and virtual insults by lawyers on both sides in the court warranting the learned judges intervention.


Mr. Tony Lithur, one of the lawyers representing the NDC, accused the his counterpart, Mr Ataa Kyiaah of violating the laws of the land.


He contended that, by the country's laws, it is only the president who can order a person to work on a national holiday.


It was therefore, his view the Chief Justice who selected Justice Asante to sit on the case had no power to do so.


But Mr Atta Kyiaa disputed that position arguing the provision referred to by Mr. Lithur was applicable only in the case of the executive.

Source: Isaac Yeboah/JFM
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