Supreme Court orders EC; allow disqualified candidates to make corrections

Supreme Court orders EC; allow disqualified candidates to make corrections
Source: Ghana|
Date: 07-11-2016 Time: 11:11:25:am
Sophia Adinyira

The Supreme Court has ordered the EC to allow all 12 disqualified candidates to correct errors on their nomination forms, errors that formed the basis for their disqualification.

In a unanimous 6-0 decision read by presiding judge Justice Sophia Adinyira, the apex court ordered the EC to extend the nomination period for another 24 hours to allow all the isqualified candidates to correct their errors.

Starting from Monday and ending Tuesday, the EC is to invite the aggrieved aspirants and afford them the chance to make necessary corrections.

The judgement freezes all other five suits in which presidential candidates are challenging the disqualification. The candidates were disqualified after the EC said it found anomalies on the presidential nomination forms.

The propriety of the anomalies is at the heart several court suits challenging the decision.

Chairperson of the Elecotral Commission Charlotte Osei

The main anomaly was that some voters who endorsed the nomination forms were either not qualified voters or that they endorsed more than one presidential candidate contrary to Public Regulations on Elections (C.I 94).

But the candidates argued there was no way they could have known a voter was not qualified nor were they aware that any of the prescribed 432 endorsers had signed up for the other candidate.

While the EC described the anomalies as statutory offence punishable by disqualification, several of the 12 disqualified presidential candidates have called it clerical errors that can be easily corrected.

PPP Presidential candidate Dr. Nduom was the first to secure a favourable ruling at the High Court which ordered that the EC should allow Dr. Nduom to correct his mistakes and reinstate him into the race.

Dissatisfied, the EC proceeded to the Supreme Court for clarity on the legal value of an error found on a presidential candidate's nomination forms.

The  Supreme Court judges, Justice Sophia Adinyira (presiding), Justice Anin Yeboah, Justice Vida Akoto Bamfo, Justice Yaw Appau, Justice Ampah Benin and Justice Gabriel Pwamang ruled that the High Court exceeded its jurisdiction in ordering an independent body like the EC to allow the candidates to correct the errors.

The Supreme Court nonetheless gave similar orders in allowing the candidates to make corrections, arguing that CI 94 binds the EC to give the candidate opportunity to make corrections, Joy News' Joseph Ackah-Blay reported.

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