Plans by the opposition Democratic Congress (NDC) to hold presidential primary to elect a flagbearer for the 2020 presidential election have hit the snag after an Accra High Court granted an interlocutory injunction against the exercise.
Two members of the party – James Kabu Nartey and Abdallah Issah, who are challenging the rules and guidelines set for the presidential election scheduled for January 26, 2019, filed the suit at an Accra High Court.
“It is hereby ordered that the respondents, their committees, agents, private servants, or authorised bodies or all persons acting through them be restrained from proceeding with the NDC 2019 presidential election in the manner outlined in the guidelines as amended until the final determination of the suit,” the court declared.
The court ruled that the interim injunction which started from yesterday would last for 10 days.
After the 10 days, the plaintiffs could reapply for a notice to halt the election process, the court declared.
The party’s initial exorbitant filing fee is also a bone of contention.
The duo, in the suit, explained that the guidelines set by the party violate the 1992 Constitution of Ghana.
Notwithstanding the injunction, seven aspirants filed their nomination before the deadline yesterday.
They included Second Deputy Speaker of Parliament, Alban Kingsford Sumani Bagbin; former Vice Chancellor of University of Professional Studies, Accra (UPSA), Joshua Alabi; former President John Mahama, ex-Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the National Health Insurance Authority (NHIA), Sylvester Mensah and businessman Nurideen Iddrisu, former Minister of Trade and Industry, Ekwow Spio-Garbrah, and a cadre, Goosie Tanoh.
John Mahama, Alban Bagbin, Joshua Alabi, Sly Mensah all filed their nomination on Monday, December 17, 2018, which was the first day of the process, while Messrs Iddrisu, Spio-Garbrah and Tanoh submitted their nomination forms on Tuesday, December 18 to generate GH¢2.24 for a party which claims to be broke after just two years of losing power to the New Patriotic Party (NPP).
Each aspirant paid GH¢300,000 as a filing fee and GH¢20,000 as nomination fee respectively.
The party drew the curtains on its nomination process yesterday for the upcoming presidential primary scheduled for January 26, 2018.
All the aspirants submitted their nomination forms endorsed by members of the party in all the 275 constituencies, banker’s drafts covering the GH¢300,000 filing fee and a Curriculum Vitae to the National Executive Committee at the party’s headquarters.
The forms were received on behalf of the party by Johnson Asiedu Nketia, NDC’s General Secretary, who indicated that the party would not disqualify any candidate based on clerical mistakes, but examine the forms after which the candidates would be invited for vetting.
National Executives of the NDC earlier this month, set GH¢400,000 and GH¢20,000 as filing and nomination fees for the presidential aspirants.
Eight out of the initial 13 aspirants, who were unhappy with the exorbitant fees, petitioned the party’s Council of Elders for a downward review of the fees.
The amount was subsequently slashed to GH¢300,000 after the intervention of former President Jerry John Rawlings, who is the Chairman of the Council of Elders and founder of the NDC.
But in a typical Oliver Twist fashion, Messrs Spio-Garbrah, Alabi, Mensah, Bagbin, Iddrisu and Tanoh, once again petitioned the Council of Elders to ensure that the GH¢300,000 was further reduced to GH¢150,000.
But DAILY GUIDE’s sources at the NDC headquarters indicated that the party’s leadership has planned not to further reduce the amount.