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31.01.2009 Social News

Petitioner questions the neutrality of Judge


Lawyers for Dr. Joseph Manboah Rockson, NDC Parliamentary candidate for Nkwanta-North constituency have questioned the neutrality of Mr. Justice Mustapha H. Logo, a Hohoe High Court judge in hearing a petition against the constituency's last December 7 Parliamentary election results.

The lawyers, Mr. Mike Adzovie, Mr Eric Atieku and Mr S. Ahor have asked Mr Justice Logo “ to rescue himself” from hearing the case.

He was alleged to be a close associate of the New Patriotic Party (NPP) and had a relation with one Mr Agbenato, immediate past Chairman of the NPP in the Biakoye constituency.

They also alleged that Mr Justice Logo was instrumental in the registration of the NPP in the Biakoye constituency and also played active role in the affairs of the party during his National Service after law school.

Mr Justice Logo responding said he has noted the reason that informed the petitioner's objections but the reasons were not sufficient grounds for alleged bias.

He admitted that he knew Mr Agbanato but was neither his god-father nor close friend of his late father.

Mr Justice Logo admitted offering some form of assistance to the NPP in 1992 but he was not a card bearing member of that party.

“Be that as it may, this is a political case and in most cases passion rather than reason reigns”.

“Since the mind of the petitioner is agitated and his breast is troubled as to the quality of justice he could obtain in the Court, I

think that I have rescued myself which I hereby do”, he said.

Mr Justice Logo said the “matter is accordingly and respectfully remitted to her Ladyship Mrs Justice Georgina Wood for her advice.

The reliefs being sought by Dr. Rockson include the nullification of the December elections in the constituency as void and that the Electoral Commission organize and supervise fresh elections among the contestants or an order directing the re-collation and recounting of the ballots.

Others were an order restraining the EC from gazetting the results of the election in the constituency pending the determination of the suit and final execution of orders by the Court.

Dr Rockson was also seeking an order restraining Mr Joseph Kwaku Nayan, (NPP), the elected candidate, his party, agents or others from holding himself as Member of Parliament of the Constituency.

He alleged that the constituency elections were characterized by “patent and substantial electoral anomalies and malpractices, misconduct and blatant abuse, brazen corrupt practices which extensively undermined the electoral process”.

The EC was represented by Mr A.K. Dabi of Lynes Quarshie-Idun and Co, Accra while Mr T. Sory represented Mr Nayan.