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NDC vs EC case: IMANI, others to submit 'amicus brief' to Supreme Court

Mon, 22 Jun 2020 Source: Class FM

Policy Think Tank, IMANI Africa has served notice of an intention to petition the Supreme Court in the ongoing case between the main opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC) and the Electoral Commission (EC).

IMANI, ASEPA and other CSOs say they will file amicus curiae in the landmark case challenging the Electoral Commission’s decision to limit eligibility criteria for the compilation of the proposed voters register to only National ID Card and the Ghanaian passport.

This according to CEO and Founder of IMANI, Franklyn Cudjoe has become necessary due to supplementary evidence and information they have uncovered which they believe could help the Judges avoid a travesty of Justice.

He noted in a statement that the 44-page amicus curiae captures in details form what their position is relative to the matter currently being heard in Court.

Part of the statement read: “Some of the legal experts we contacted were of the opinion that Amicus briefs are yet to find serious standing in the Ghanaian courts and thus it is unlikely we would be entertained. Others said that we need only look at Ransford-France and the 2013 petition case; amicus briefs are fine if they land on the good side of their Lordships. We thank all of these experts very much. Your patriotism is why Ghana keeps plodding on despite all the challenges”

The development comes in the wake of growing public opinion including formal statements by Ghana’s former Presidents, National House of Chiefs, CSOs, election observer groups including CODEO, Center for Democratic Governance, CDD and the Institute for Democratic Development, IDEG, against EC’s entranced position to compile a new register and resort to the use of only Ghana card and passport as prove of citizenship.

Find below the full statement:

Franklyn Cudjoe writes

Taking a Stand on Voter Identification

______________

Friends, when it became apparent that the Electoral Commission will not shift in its stance against the use of identification documents that have for three decades been used for voter registration purposes by citizens of Ghana, interested parties headed to Court.

IMANI is not one of the civil society organisations in Ghana noted for its extensive litigation history. As a primary public education think tank we tend to play in the public arena. The last time we went to court to press advocacy on an issue, we found the costs of hiring experts in the narrow area of telecom revenue assurance to testify exorbitant. In the end, we opted to negotiate instead.

So when the court cases against the EC's actions started, we were left on the sidelines, despite our forceful advocacy on the issues to date. Once we started speaking about the matters in the media, well-meaning friends called to advise caution, about something called "contempt of court".

So, after careful deliberation, we have decided to take a middle of the road strategy for now. We won't file suit ourselves but we won't stop talking either. The only safe and sensible way to walk that tightrope is what we, together with other activist CSOs, did this afternoon: file an an application for leave to submit an Amicus brief in the consolidated cases regarding the EC's conduct currently before the Supreme Court. In due course, we hope to make it available to the public.

Some of the legal experts we contacted were of the opinion that Amicus briefs are yet to find serious standing in the Ghanaian courts and thus it is unlikely we would be entertained. Others said that we need only look at Ransford-France and the 2013 petition case; amicus briefs are fine if they land on the good side of their Lordships. We thank all of these experts very much. Your patriotism is why Ghana keeps plodding on despite all the challenges.

Whether or not we shall find favour with the Lords and Ladies of the Bench is, of course, outside our control. But we had to stand up and be counted.

We have done our part. What are you going to do today to stand up for what you believe in?

On behalf of ILAPI, ASEPA, the Conservative Policy Center, and our own IMANI, I wish to say that our deepest gratitude goes to the valiant and brilliant lawyers at 1st Law, led by the redoubtable Joe Debrah, for agreeing to represent us, prepare the

brief and file all necessary processes within such a tight timeline. May God bless them all generously.

Calogerus Ebenezer Tackie Teflondon Peter Bismark Kwaku Azar Kofi Bentil Selorm Branttie Umaru Sanda Amadu Evans Mensah Justice Adoboe Araba Koomson

Source: Class FM

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