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Court dismisses Ashaiman NDC MP case against EC

The Accra High Court has struck out the case filed by Ashaiman NDC MP requesting for procurement information from the Electoral Commission.

Presiding judge, Justice Enyonam Adinyira, said the Supreme Court had given a judgement relating to the EC’s voter registration exercise which also impacted the current case.

“We are being bounded by the decision of the Supreme Court,” the judge said.

The case was called Monday, Dr. Abdul Basit Bamba who is counsel for the plaintiff and Ashaiman MP Ernest Norgbey, stood to make his argument.

But before he could make his point, the judge interrupted and dismissed the case.

The lawyer, however, argued the substantive matter must be heard because it is not similar to the case which was determined by the court.

He insisted the court cannot apply the decision of the Supreme Court when it does not even have access to the reasoned judgement.

The Ashaiman legislator, Ernest Norgbey, had filed a case against the commission’s voters’ registration exercise set to come off on Tuesday.

He was also praying for an interlocutory mandatory injunction to compel the EC to release some procurement information to him.

The EC declined to release procurement information on its decision to compile a new voters’ register to legislator.

Mr. Norgbey argued the election management body’s decision not to release the information to him, violates his rights under Article 21 of the 1992 Constitution which guarantees the right to information.

He said the EC’s explanation that the fees payable for his request, under the Right to Information (RTI) Act 2019, have not been approved by Parliament is not tenable.

The MP wants the court to compel the EC to release the procurement information about its consultants before they begin the compilation of the new register.

He says if his request is not granted before the EC begins compilation of the new register, it would make it impossible to mount an effective challenge against the legality of the process.

The NDC legislator tells the court in his suit that he is ready to pay all fees determined by it for the release of the document.

This makes it the third time the EC has won its substantive cases in courts ahead of it’s intended voter registration exercise slated for June 30.

The first was the one filed by the biggest opposition party, National Democratic Congress, which sought to demand for the inclusion of the existing voter card.

The second one was filed by Mark Takyi Benson, also questioning the use of the Ghana card and passport as the only means of identification.

But the Supreme court in a unanimous decision ruled in favour of the commission.

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