SALL saga: Supreme Court rejects request for live telecast of review hearing
A seven-member review panel of the Supreme Court presided over by Justice Yaw Appau has refused a request for live transmission of hearing of the review motion regarding the quashing of Ho High Court’s decision injuncting John Peter Amewu from being gazetted.
Lawyers of interested parties of persons of Santrokofi, Akpafu, Likpe and Lololo (SALL) have filed a motion for review of the apex court to review its own decision.
On January 4, this year, a panel of five chaired by Justice Appau unanimously granted a Certiari application filed by the Attorney General’s Department.
The grant of that application means that the orders made by Ho High Court placing an interim injunction on the gazetting and swearing-in of Member of Parliament-elect for the Hohoe Constituency, John Peter Amewu has been quashed.
The Ho Court presided over by Justice George Boadi on December 23, 2020 granted an injunction application after some residents of SALL, argued that their inability to vote in the December 7, 2020, parliamentary election amounted to a breach of their constitutional rights.
The unanimous decision of the apex court was that the interested parties did not say anything for the justification of the orders of injunction that was granted.
The court said Peter Amewu has nothing to do with the denial of the EC not to allow the people of SALL to vote. The Court also said, Peter Amewu is also not an official of the EC but only presented himself up for a contest and won.
The court said the interim injunction granted was for a 10-day and it had long elapsed as at January 2, 2021, before the decision of the apex court was taken.
In the justices ruling on January 4, however, it declined the AG’s request seeking an order to prohibit the High Court judge, Justice George Boadi, from further hearing or conducting proceedings in the said suit.
It, therefore, directed the court to refer matters regarding human rights infringement to the apex Court for determination.
But the interested parties have since filed an application seeking a review of the court’s ruling.
Before the court could hear that review application, the interested parties from SALL moved a motion for the review application to be transmitted live on television on Monday, January 26, 2021.
It was the case of counsel for the interested parties that, due to the public order restrictions following the Covid-19 pandemic, movement of the SALL people has been limited.
According to him, a live telecast of the proceedings as was the case of the Supreme Court election petition will help and also put the safety of the people in check including the justices sitting on the matter.
The state represented by Grace Awul, Chief State Attorney while opposing to the motion said, this is not a matter that warranted live television broadcast.
According to her, no harm would be occasioned or visited on the interested parties if the application was not granted.
The review panel of seven after listening to the parties ruled that it did not find any merit to transmit live this short application for review.
The court accordingly dismissed the motion for live transmission of the review hearing.
The court also dismissed another application from the interested parties for grant of leave to file further grounds of relief for the review filed.
The substantive review motion has been adjourned to February 3, 2021.
The five-member panel chaired by Justice Appau which earlier heard the case also comprised of Justice Samuel Marful-Sau, Justice Gertrude Torkornoo, Justice Clemence Honyenuga, and Justice Amadu Tanko.
Following the review motion, Justice Harrietta Mensah-Bonsu and Justice Yonny Kolendi have been added to the panel making seven.
However, Justice Honyenuga who became the subject matter for recusal from the lawyers of the interested parties following his (alleged) close relationship with John Peter Amewu is not on the review panel and his place was taken by Justice Lovelace Johnson.
The Ho High Court on December 23, 2020, presided over by Justice George Buadi granted an interim injunction restraining the Electoral Commission from gazetting Mr. Amewu as the MP for Hohoe.
This followed an ex parte application filed by residents of the Guan District who were not given the opportunity to vote in the December 7 parliamentary election.
They said, the creation of the Oti Region, coupled with a recent Supreme Court decision and failure of the EC to create a constituency for them, meant they did not vote for a parliamentary candidate in the just-ended election.
But the State through a Deputy Attorney General, Godfred Dame, filed a motion at the Supreme Court to fight the injunction placed on Amewu by the Ho High Court.
The Deputy Attorney General argued that the High Court in exercising its human rights oversight had no jurisdiction to grant the injunction as the SALL residents did not go through the proper procedure.
It is the case of the state that John Peter Amewu’s victory in the Hohoe parliamentary election was gazetted a day before the residents of the SALL residents went to the High Court to place an injunction on the process.