A-G challenges joinder in Ahafo-Ano Constituency petition
The Attorney General’s (AG) office says it is legally flawed for the New Patriotic Party (NPP) parliamentary candidate for the Ahafo Ano North constituency in the 2012 elections to join the office as a respondent in the electoral petition challenging the result of the constituency.
Consequently, the AG’s office in Kumasi has hinted that it would file a conditional appearance and a motion in the High Court next week for a declaration on its position.
The Chief State Attorney in charge of the Ashanti Region, Mr William Kpobi, told the Daily Graphic yesterday that the AG represented the government, which had no hand in the organisation of the election in question.
Mr Richard Akuoko-Adiyia, the NPP candidate, through his lawyers, Owusu Bempah Law Chambers filed the petition in Kumasi.
He is seeking a declaration that the irregularities practised by the Electoral Commission officials who were in charge of elections in the constituency affected the authenticity of the elections and therefore, rendered the declaration of the NDC candidate, Mr Akwasi Adusei as winner, null and void.
Mr Akuoko-Adiyia polled 18,481 votes as against 18,841 by the NDC candidate.
Among other things, the petitioner said the EC officials in the constituency in flagrant disregard for the rules, regulations and guidelines governing the election, either by deliberate conduct or circumstances that can best be explained by them did not properly account for ballots issued to various polling stations, thus occasioning a serious irregularity.
He stated that 835 ballots were not accounted for in 17 polling stations in the constituency because of the widespread irregularities.
Besides, elections were held without biometric verification in three polling stations in contravention of electoral laws as contained in C.I. 75.
The respondents in the suit are the Electoral Commission (EC) and the AG’s office in Kumasi.
But, Mr Kpobi, argued that making the AG’s office a respondent meant dragging the government into a partisan issue.
He explained that the EC, the first respondent, in the petition was an independent entity and should be left to defend its position without bringing in the government.
“I don’t see the basis for bringing in the AG. We are the lawyers of the government and in this matter government has no business,” Mr Kpobi stressed.
“We are, therefore, going to challenge the petitioner’s position in court next week,” he added.