General News of Monday, 24 December 2018
Two individuals, Gabriel Aziaglo of Dodo Tamale in the Kadjebi District and Dan Louis Nikabo of Avornyokope also in the Kadjebi District of the Volta Region have applied to the High Court to put an injunction on the December 27 referendum to create six new regions.
The two applicants, who describe themselves as registered voters in the proposed Oti Region to be created out of the Volta Region, say they fear, among other things, that the fairness and transparency of the polls would be compromised if the process proceeds with its current arrangements and want the court to enforce their fundamental human rights.
The suit that has the Electoral Commission and the Attorney General and Minister of Justice as respondents, says the Electoral Commission has failed to publish in the gazette, the list of polling stations to be used for the election. That failure, they say, is unreasonable and violates their right to vote.
The applicants also say that any official gazette in respect of the polling stations, if it was made within a week or five days before the 27th of December, 2018 is unlawful, unreasonable and capricious.
The two men also say that per the Electoral Commission’s failure to gazette the list of polling stations, the 27th December, 2018 referendum has been put in danger of not being transparent and fair because it disables them (applicants) from appointing polling agents and counting officers.
“That Applicants not having been given a fair and reasonable opportunity to have polling and counting agents therefore, any vote by Applicants at the polls will be diminished in quality given the danger of impersonation and multiple voting.”
Among specific reliefs they seek from the courts are;
A declaration that the failure/neglect/refusal of the 1st Respondent to publish in the gazette the list of the polling stations or places designated as polling stations for purposes of the referendum violates Applicants right to vote.
A declaration that any list of polling stations given or which may have circulated from the 1st Respondent to any interested group is unlawful and null for lack of gazette.
A declaration that any discretion purported to be exercised by the 1st Respondent by gazetting the list within a day or two or even within a week is unreasonable, capricious and actuated by lack of candour.
An order against the 1st Respondent to postpone the polls scheduled for the 27th of December, 2018 for failure to comply with condition precedent.
An order that 1st Respondent gazettes the list of polling stations for the referendum in compliance with its own Regulation.
An order of injunction against the 1st Respondent from going ahead with the Referendum until such a time that it complies with the Regulation.