The Convention People's Party (CPP) has denied annulling the candidature of the Elembelle Parliamentary Candidate, Hon. Freddie Blay, in the recently held primary.
The brouhaha over the first Deputy Speaker's candidature has been a subject of contention between the Party and Mr. Blay before an Accra Fast Track Court (FTC).
According to the party, it only objected to the election of Mr. Blay and transferred the issue to the constituency for a review, as the Central Committee of the party required under the party's regulation.
Mr. Yao Yegbey, counsel for CPP made these observations yesterday, before the FTC, presided over by Justice Edward Amoako Asante, when he was advancing arguments in opposition to the reliefs claimed by Mr. Blay.
Mr. Blay, who is challenging what he termed as the nullification of his candidature of the Ellembelle Constituency by the party, dragged party stalwarts including Dr. Abu Sackar, Mike Eghan and Ivor Greenstreet among others to court for review.
Mr. Blay, who instituted the legal action with five other constituency executives, demanded that his candidature should be restored. Affected by the motion for judicial review filed by the applicants, also include Ladi Nylander, the National Chairman of the CPP, Dr. Abu Sackar, Vice-chairman, Ivor Greenstreet, General Secretary, Mike Eghan, Treasurer, Kosi Dedey, Dr. Paa Kwesi Nduom, the Presidential Candidate for the party, all of whom are members of the Central Committee of the party in addition to the CPP itself.
The applicants were claiming six reliefs including a declaration sustaining the constituency primaries held on August 23, this year, that consequently elected Mr. Blay as the constituency parliamentary candidate for the party.
The applicants were further seeking a restraining order against the CPP and its Central Committee or any agent of the party from organising any primary for the election of a parliamentary candidate for the constituency, on the grounds of illegality and excess of jurisdiction conferred by the CPP Constitution, 2003 on the respondents, unreasonableness and unfairness on the part of the respondents as well as procedural impropriety and failure to observe due process.
Legal arguments on the case commenced as a result of failure on the part of members of the party to reach an out of court settlement. “We made the effort at solving the issue, as all parties sat down and deliberated but could not reach the desired result,” Mr. Bright Akwettey intimated to the court, adding that it was not a healthy development.
At the last adjourned date, Mr. Akwettey, a lawyer and a failed Presidential aspirant of the CPP, sought the indulgence of the court to give both parties a week to see if an out of court settlement could be feasible.
Counsel for the CPP, Mr. Yegbey, argued that the applicants relied on falsehood and dishonesty to point out that the party had annulled the constituency election, adding that if applicants had based the legal action on falsity then the reliefs sought must fail.
Counsel further noted that the application brought before the court was incompetent since it flouted the civil procedure rule of the court. These observations came to light following arguments advanced by counsel for the applicants, Mr. Godfred Yeboah Dame that the respondent's denial of nullifying the constituency primary was an act of throwing dust into the eyes of the court.
According to him, a press statement issued by the party clearly indicated a nullification of the elections that saw Mr. Blay as the elected constituency parliamentary candidate.
Counsel contended that the Central Committee that came out with the decision had no power to cancel the primaries that elected Mr. Blay, noting that the action was tainted with so many errors.
Arguing against the decision of the Central Committee of the party to nullify the election, Mr. Yeboah Dame noted that the committee acted outside the confines of what they were expected to do under the law, adding that the committee could not arrogate the power to nullify a properly elected candidate.
He therefore argued that by the action of the central committee, his client's fundamental human rights had been grossly affected. “The central committee's action is an illegality,” counsel emphasised.
The court adjourned sitting to October 9, 2008, for ruling, if an out of court settlement being sought could not be reached by the parties.