Defeated NPP candidate goes to court

Fritz Baffour, Member of Parliament for Ablekuma SouthA motion on notice, which seeks to restrain Mr Fritz Baffour, the National Democratic Congress (NDC) Member of Parliament for Ablekuma South, from taking his seat in Parliament was on Friday put before an Accra Fast Track High Court.

A motion filed by Mr Francis Kojo Sackey-Smith, the New Patriotic Party (NPP) parliamentary candidate for Ablekuma South, is seeking a recount of the ballots and declaration that the result announced by the Electoral Commission (EC) is null and void.

Mr Sackey-Smith is further seeking a declaration that he be declared the winner in the December 7, election, cost as well as general damages. When sitting began, the trial judge Mr Justice K.A. Ofori-Attah noted that apart from the third respondent, that is Mr Baffour, who had been served the EC and the returning officer whose name was given as Atitso had not been served.

The court therefore ordered that the two respondents should be served to enable Mr Sackey-Smith to move his motion.

It therefore adjourned the matter to January 30.

In an affidavit supporting the motion Mr Sackey-Smith said he had issued a petition to challenge the result of the election declared by the returning officer and the EC.

The petitioner said he had submitted documents to show that there were a series of malpractices, which affected the outcome of the December 7 election.

He said unless the Mr Baffour was restrained he was likely to be sworn in as Member of Parliament for Ablekuma South. Mr Baffour was sworn in on January 7 together with 227 other MPs elected in the December 7 election.

In an affidavit in opposition, Mr Baffour said he had already been sworn into office as MP for Ablekuma Constituency on the ticket of the NDC.

He contended that, if the application was granted it would bring about hardship to him and the whole constituency.

According to him Mr Sackey-Smith’s assertion that all ballot papers be counted at the collation centres was without any basis under the Public Election Regulation adding that, it was wrong for him to also request that all polling stations votes be recounted.

Mr Baffour said his contender’s case was without any basis since in his petition “he cannot even state the exact number of votes he obtained but could only approximate that he obtained “over 56,000 votes”.

Source: GNA