President of IMANI Africa, Franklin Cudjoe has described the dismissal of an amicus brief filed by them and three other policy think tanks as disappointing and unfortunate.
IMANI Africa and the other three policy think tanks had filed the amicus brief to join a consolidated case in which the National Democratic Congress (NDC) and a Ghanaian citizen, Mark Takyi Banson are asking the Supreme Court to prevent the Electoral Commission (EC) from going ahead with the compilation of a new voter’s register.
The three think tanks are Alliance for Social Equity and Public Accountability (ASEPA), Conservative Policy Research Center (CPRC) and Institute for Liberty and Policy Innovation (ILAPI).
According to the apex court, the think tanks’ amicus brief shows they are not coming to assist the court with any new information useful to concluding the matter but rather coming to support a side, and thus advised that they would have better served their interests if they had joined the party in the case they were actually supporting.
However speaking to the press after the hearing, Mr Cudjoe said he was very disappointed at the turn of events.
“On the onset of this application, we did say we were at the benevolence more or less of the law so what they decide to do we will live with it. It’s just that we’re disappointed though that they didn’t even consider the brief itself.
“We think they would have benefitted greatly from it but the laws have spoken and we can’t quarrel with that, we just have to live with it but I hope that the decision they arrive at eventually would be a decision everybody can live with within this country otherwise I’m just disappointed and I’m sure my colleagues here are equally disappointed,” he said.
He added that “This was an introduction to how cases are determined in court. I was quite awed, even at some point I was laughing all through but I guess lawyers know their trade and the judges also know their trade so you can’t fault them, they did what they had to do but I think that to suggest that the amicus was just not neutral was a bit far-fetched really.”
The IMANI boss stated that the suggestion to join the party in the case they were supporting is well taken, but expressed disappointment that the bench had not even perused their document on the basis that they were not presenting it on a neutral ground.
“In other jurisdictions, people file amicus cases anyway and they take positions. We do have an interest in the matter; I suspect that that is actually why we decided to file the brief. So to suggest that the brief was not neutral I don’t understand that language, I think they probably didn’t read anything but anyway they’ve made their decision and we can live with that.”
He affirmed that despite this setback, the policy think tank will continue to advocate against the EC’s decision to compile a new Voters’ register.
“Well this is a country of law and order and I will think that the court have decided what they have to decide it doesn’t stop us from activism, we’ll keep on speaking about the matter because we think that these are critical matters of public policy, and I think that the court would have benefitted from sound public policy but they chose differently and so here we are,” he said.
Judgement on the substantive case has been set for Thursday, June 25, 2020.