AG Challenges Ho Court At Supreme Court Over Amewu Prohibition

Godfred Yeboah Dame

The Attorney General has filed a suit at the Supreme Court challenging the decision of a High Court in Ho to prohibit the Electoral Commission (EC) from gazetting John Peter Amewu as the winner of the Parliamentary election in the Hohoe Constituency.

The suit, filed by the Deputy Attorney General, Godfred Yeboah Dame, argues that the orders of the court presided over by Justice George Buadi constitute a “flagrant abuse of the process of the court”.

The suit argues that the High Court has no jurisdiction under Article 33 of the Constitution and Order 67 of the High Court (Civil Procedure) Rules, 2004, C.I. 47 to consider, determine or grant remedies in a matter of the nature of a parliamentary election petition, constitutionally required to be instituted under Article 99 of the Constitution and Section 16 of Representation of the People’s Law, 1992 (PNDCL 284).

It is the case of the AG that “the deployment of the human rights jurisdiction of the High Court in a matter substantially attacking the validity of the election of a person as a Member of Parliament constituted a fundamental constitutional error and, rendered the proceedings at the court below void and a nullity.”

Again, the AG argues that the relevant facts of the case of the plaintiff in the case at the Ho High Court which they are undoubtedly aware of, show that the traditional areas of Santrokofi, Akpafu, Likpe and Lolobi form part of the Oti Region, and not the Volta Region, having been so created by C.I. 112 enacted pursuant to the completion of the processes for the creation of new regions set out in Article 5 of the Constitution.

Injunction

A Ho High Court presided over by Justice George Buadi on December 23, 2020 granted an interim injunction aimed at restraining the Electoral Commission from gazetting John Peter Amewu as MP for Hohoe in the Volta Region.

The injunction was after an ex parte application was presented before the court by lawyers for some residents who claimed to be from the Hohoe Constituency.

Lead counsel for the applicants, Tsatsu Tsikata, who argued for the ex parte motion, said the injunction was necessary because his clients who hailed from towns within the Hohoe constituency were prevented from voting in the parliamentary elections that saw John Peter Amewu elected as Member of Parliament for Hohoe.

The injunction was granted after the EC had already gazetted Mr. Amewu as the winner of the parliamentary election in the area a day before the court action.

AG’s Suit

But the Attorney General has gone to the Supreme Court seeking to quash the decision of the High Court which it says is unconstitutional.

Mr. Dame argues that the entire proceedings at the Ho High Court constitute a flagrant abuse of the process of the court warranting the Supreme Court’s supervisory jurisdiction to halt same.

“That the wrongful assumption of jurisdiction by the court below and the orders made in consequence thereof, apart from being a patent error on the face of the record, portend a recipe for constitutional chaos. A possible consequence is that a part of the Hohoe constituency will be in the Volta Region, and another part in the Oti Region, contrary to the express prohibition in article 47(2) of the Constitution and as interpreted by this Court already.”

Reliefs

The suit is seeking an order of certiorari directed at the Ho High Court to bring into the Supreme Court for the purpose of being quashed the orders of the Court dated 23rd December, 2020.

It is also seeking an order prohibiting the Ho High Court presided over by Justice George Buadi from further hearing or conduct of proceedings of the case challenging the election of Mr. Amewu as MP for Hohoe Constituency.

BY Gibril Abdul Razak

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