Despite Supreme Court Verdict – EX-NPP MP VOWS TO PURSUE ELECTION PETITION CASE
WHEN THE Supreme Court of Ghana ruled on August 29 , this year, on the historic presidential election petition, bringing to an end eight months of legal tussle between the ruling National Democratic Congress (NDC) and the opposition New Patriotic Party (NPP), it was anticipated that electoral petitions of all forms, particularly those concerning parliamentary elections may have effectively come to a close.
This is based on the assumption that the evidence adduced at the Supreme Court by the petitioners was the same as that of the parliamentary candidates, who have gone to the various High Courts to challenge the results declared by the Electoral Commission in their respective constituencies.
It did not, therefore, come as a surprise when the Asawase Constituency candidate of the NPP, Nana Antwi Tawiah, decided to file to discontinue the case he had brought against the EC and the NDC candidate in a Kumasi High Court.
The Chronicle can, however, authoritatively report that the Ahafo North Constituency candidate of the opposition party, Mr. Richard Akuoko Adiyiah, is not disturbed by the Supreme Court ruling and therefore, not considering any move to withdraw the case, which is also pending before a Kumasi High Court.
The soft-spoken former MP has told the paper he has no intention to follow the path of his colleagues, as he believes in the solidity of his case and evidence before the High Court in Kumasi.
The NPP Candidate, who lost narrowly to his NDC opponent in last year’s election says he is ready to fight the case to its logical conclusion and prove to the whole world that the parliamentary results of the December 2012 elections in the Ahafo Ano North constituency was marred with massive fraud and irregularities.
Denying reports that NPP leadership had allegedly instructed all petitioners to discontinue their cases following the final judgment of the Supreme Court, Hon. Adiyiah, brimming with confidence, stated that he believes he has an incontrovertible evidence to prove his case in court.
‘I have no intention to drop this case, not at all, look I have strong evidence of fraud and irregularities in my constituency and I will prove to the whole world,’ a confident Hon. Adiyiah told this reporter in a telephone interview.
The defeated MP, Akuoko Adiyiah, is challenging the eligibility of the December 7 parliamentary election which he narrowly lost to his National Democratic Congress (NDC) opponent, Hon. Akwasi Adusei, who polled 18,841against 18,418 by the failed NPP candidate.
The former MP, per his statement of claim alleged that the election was marred with fraud and irregularities and is demanding that the results be cancelled.
Hon. Adiyiah contends that presidential elections are completely different from the parliamentary and that the fact that the Supreme Court ruled against the petitioners has nothing to do at all with his parliamentary case.
‘Let’s not forget that in the case of presidential elections, they deal with percentages but in the case of parliamentary, just a single vote will be enough to change the results in favour of another candidate,’ he stressed.
Citing the case of Tema West Constituency where Hon. Titus Glover won by a margin of less than 10 votes, Hon. Adiyiah noted that he is optimistic he can convince the court to change the results in his favour.
‘My opponent Hon. Adusei, based on the status quo, won by less than 423 votes and I am seeking an annulment of over 9,000 votes which will eventually reduce the percentage of votes obtained by the NDC and increase that of his.
The case is currently before a Kumasi High Court presided over by Justice Roben Batu, pending hearing into an appeal filed by Counsel for the first respondent, Lawyer Mujeeb Abdul Rahman & Co., who filed an appeal against ruling by the court and have further raised objection about the legitimacy of the Counsel for the petitioner, Kwame Adom Appiah.
The petition initially suffered some setbacks and had to be moved to Accra upon instruction of the Chief Justice but has since been referred back to Kumasi for hearing. At the last sitting on Monday October 14, Counsel for the second respondent, the Electoral Commission, failed to make an appearance, compelling the court to adjourn hearing to somewhere November 21, 2013.
In the 21-point petition filed by the defeated MP, he catalogued various forms of irregularities which he claims violated the credibility of the results announced by the second respondent, the
Electoral Commission (EC) which declared the first respondent as the winner of the December 7, 2012 parliamentary election in the Ahafo Ano North constituency.
The petitioner claims that the election was generally marred by several irregularities including instances of voting without biometric verification, absence of presiding officers’ signatures on pink sheets.
The violations, the petitioner claims, also include aggregates of instances of over voting due to total votes in ballot box plus unused/spoilt ballots exceeding the number of ballots issued to polling stations and aggregate of instances of over voting due to total votes in the ballot box exceeding the number of ballots issued to voters on the polling station register.
The defeated MP averred in his petition that the total number of votes that were wrongfully, unlawfully and / or illegally added to valid votes cast amounted to 9,204. The petition further states ‘That when the Petitioner detected the anomalies he requested a copy of the data from the Biometric Verification machine but the EC District Officer asked the petitioner to seek legal advice.’
It further pointed out that on a second demand the EC official indicated to the petitioner that all the machines had been set to zero as the chips had been removed.
The petitioner, therefore, claims that these irregularities, when corrected, shall have significant impact on the declaration of the result by changing the figures purported to have been bagged by the so-called winner of constituency parliamentary elections from 18,841 votes to 13,031 valid votes with percentage strength of 45.78 of the total votes cast.
On the other hand, the petitioner avers that the correction, when done by the court, will reduce his votes from 18, 418 to 15,122 valid votes representing a percentage strength of 53.12 of the valid votes cast, making him the winner of the December 7 election.
The petitioner is, therefore, seeking three reliefs from the court including a declaration that the irregularities practised by the EC officials who were in charge of the Ahafo Ano North Constituency affected the authenticity of the election and that the first respondent had not been validly elected as a Member of Parliament for the constituency.
Pix: Ex- NPP MP Richard Akuoko Adiyiah
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