The seventeen High Court judges who have been assigned to handle anticipated electoral disputes that may arise before the December 7, presidential and parliamentary elections are expected to hear cases on a day-to-day basis.
“By virtue of the powers conferred on her by order 79 of the High Court (Civil Procedure) Rules, 2004 (C.I 47), the Lady Chief Justice has also directed that the judges hear these election related cases on a day-to-day basis including weekends, but excluding public holidays from 9.00am to 6:00pm, until the cases are finally disposed of,” a statement signed by the Judicial Secretary, Justice Alex B. Poku-Acheampong said.
The Chief Justice has also directed that the hearing of all electoral cases should take precedence over all other cases pending before the courts.
The Judges are expected to further submit weekly status reports on all such cases pending before them.
“This authorization and directive from the Hon. Lady Chief Justice takes effect from Tuesday October 18, 2016 until otherwise varied or cancelled,” the statement added.
CJ designates 17 courts to handle electoral disputes
The directive comes barely a day after the Chief Justice designated 17 specialised courts to deal with electoral disputes that may arise before the general polls.
The appointed justices, according to Justice Poku-Acheampong, have been tasked to handle the cases expeditiously.
He gave the breakdown of the judges assigned as follows: Greater Accra, six; Ashanti and Western, two each, while Eastern, Central, Upper West, Upper East, Northern, Volta and Brong Ahafo have been assigned a judge each.
There are concerns that the electoral calendar could be negatively affected following the rising number of disputes between presidential aspirants and the Electoral Commission (EC), but the Judicial Secretary has allayed such fears, saying there is no cause for alarm.
By: Marian Ansah/citifmonline.com/Ghana