General News of Sunday, 17 December 2017
Ho High Court presided over by Justice Eric Baah, has dismissed a petition by Mr Wisdom Gidisu, former Member of Parliament for Krachi East challenging the election of Mr Michael Gyato as Member of Parliament for the Constituency in the 2016 general elections.
Mr Gidisu sought the court to cancel the parliamentary results of six polling stations in the Constituency on grounds of over voting.
He claimed there were imperfections at the R/C JHS at Katanga, L/A Primary School, Lapas, L/A Primary Njare “A”, L/A Primary Njare “B”, L/A Primary Banka and L/A Primary, Tokoranu and prayed the court to annul the results.
The court however said the petitioner failed to establish a case for cancellation of the results and dismissed the petition on lack of merit.
Justice Baah said though over voting, bribery and other electoral misconduct could be grounds for cancellation of election results, the law did not allow for cancellation of the entire constituency results if the said over voting would not affect the total result of the Constituency.
He said the case involving the six polling stations were “entry mistakes” by electoral officers and not over voting except a single case at the R/C JHS at Katanga.
The Judge said the petitioner also failed to define over voting and that on the face of the “pink sheet” failed to prove a case of over voting, saying, “the failure of the petitioner’s agents to report any irregularities is an indication that nothing untoward happened.”
He said the use of voter’s register as benchmark for determining over voting by the petitioner was problematic because not all voters on the register turned up and verified to vote.
Justice Baah therefore charged the Electoral Commission to work on a statutory definition of over voting ahead of the 2020 general elections to assist the court in expeditious handling of such cases and also urged it to train its workers well in election conduct and management.
He awarded a cost of GHC25, 000.00 against the petitioner-GHC20,000.00 for the first respondent and GHC5,000 for the second respondent, the Electoral Commission.
Earlier, counsels for the first and second respondents requested cost of GHC70, 000.00 and GHC50,000.00 respectively.