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13.03.2009 Politics

IC Quaye 'agbenaa'

By Daily Guide

The Member of Parliament (MP) for Ayawaso Central, Sheikh I.C. Quaye, can heave a sigh of relief knowing that the issue of the disputed elections results in his constituency is now behind him.

This was after an Accra Fast Track High Court threw out the application of the National Democratic Congress (NDC) parliamentary candidate, Dr. Kwasi Ofei Agyeman, who filed a writ challenging the Electoral Commission (EC)'s declaration that Hon. Quaye had won the election.

The plaintiff, Dr. Agyeman, also dragged the EC to court praying it to nullify the declaration of the EC in the hotly contested race which he claims was full of substantial electoral malpractices.

The judge, Justice Mrs. A. Norvisi, in her ruling, noted that even though the conditional appearance entered by the EC was filed out of time, it was not fatal to the case.

According to her, under Order (81) of the High Court Rules, the effect of non-compliance shall not be treated as an irregularity.   

The EC entered conditional appearance on February 6 when the hearing began, filed a motion on notice to strike out Dr, Agyeman's petition on the basis that as the petitioner respondent, he had failed to apply to the court regarding how much should be imposed on the security for costs pursuant to Section 18 (2) of PNDC Law 284.

Under the law, a petitioner is also expected to file an application 21 days after the declaration and gazetting of the electoral results.

On the substantive case, the judge stated that Law 284 of the Representation of People's Law has been reviewed, adding that there had been a slight change which says a petitioner must go to the court to tell how must be paid as security for costs or the application would be invalid.

The doctor relied on Article 284 and deposited old ¢20,000 at the High Court without asking how much he should pay.

She consequently dismissed the petition.
At the last hearing date, lawyer for the plaintiff, Mr. Kwabla Senanu explained that under Order 9 Rule 6 (2), the EC was not allowed to file any other processes except by the leave of the court since the entry of conditional appearance was out of time.

Mr. Senanu also told the court that his client had deposited an amount of old ¢20,000 on January 23 at the High Court within the statutory time so their petition before the court was therefore valid.

 Dr. Agyeman, in his statement of case, wanted the court to nullify or alternatively scrutinize the electoral materials and documents and declare the appropriate winner in the constituency.

Furthermore, the petitioner wanted the court to place a perpetual injunction restraining the second defendant, Hon. Quaye, from holding himself as the MP for the area.

Hon. Quaye was represented by Mr. Akoto Ampaw.
By Fidelia Achama