Women Back Bawku MP

WOMEN OF Bawku Central Constituency in the Upper East Region have thrown their weight behind the Member of Parliament (MP) for the area, Adamu Daramani-Sakande, further assuring him of their unwavering support.

Led by Ramatu Gbewa Bugri, the women promised to stand by the MP day and night as he battles relentlessly to challenge allegations of citizenship fraud leveled against him in court by one Sumaila Bielbiel, a cattle dealer.

Accordingly, the highly spirited ladies have called on one of the defeated parliamentary candidates in the December 2008 polls and presidential spokesperson, Mahama Ayariga, who had apparently been engaged in desperate attempts to return to parliament through a fictitious by-election to stay away from the seat as in their view “there would never be any by-election”.

Ramatu Bugri said the women were gravely concerned about the subtle political campaigning and assumption of duty as a NADMO official in the constituency by the presidential spokesperson who was said to be distributing campaign gifts he described as relief items.

“The activities of Mahama Ayariga could cause more trouble in Bawku which is already battling with ethnic and chieftaincy conflicts and as women, we would be affected most with our children if there should be escalation of violence in the area. We therefore appeal to Ayariga to stop campaigning for by-election to save the women and children in the constituency,” Madam Ramatu pleaded.   

Ayariga, former Bawku Central MP lost the seat to the New Patriotic Party (NPP) candidate, Daramani-Sakande, in a highly competitive election last year but had reportedly been trying strenuously to come back to parliament following a default judgment by a Fast Track High Court, asking the incumbent MP to vacant the seat.

However, a three-member-panel of the Court of Appeal on Wednesday unanimously granted Daramani-Sakande’s application for a stay of execution of the default judgment in default of defence, completely shattering the hopes of Ayariga who had apparently been telling the people of Bawku Central that there would be a by-election.

A second application by the MP for a stay of proceedings, pending the final determination of his appeal on the default judgment, was also granted by the judges who ordered that all proceedings against Hon. Daramani-Sakande be halted till the outcome of the appeal.

The judges also ordered that the MP should continue representing his people in Parliament as according to the presiding Judge, Justice Yaw Apau who read the ruling, “it would amount to great injustice” for the MP who is the applicant, to be denied the opportunity to have his case heard since there were issues to be determined as to whether or not the High Court Judge who gave the default judgment exercised his discretion wisely among other issues.

Justice Appau said the doors of justice must not be closed to persons without them being given the opportunity to tell their side of the story, especially when that person is willing to do so, adding that to deny the MP the right to such a fair hearing will not be right.

He therefore pointed out that the court “will not perpetrate such injustice” and went ahead to grant both applications.

The justices, in addition, awarded a GH¢2,000 cost against the respondent, Sumaila Bielbiel, who initiated the legal action against the applicant, accusing him of dual citizenship.

By Awudu Mahama