‘Granting your application will jeopardise 2020 elections’ – Judge tells Gane
The Independent Presidential candidate, Marricke Kofi Gane would have to forfeit his quest to be added to the list of candidates for the December 7 elections.
This is due to the fact that the Accra High Court, Criminal Division has dismissed an application filed by Mr. Gane over his disqualification by the Electoral Commission.
Too late for Gane
The court, presided over by Elfreda Ama Denkyi, was of the opinion that because the applicant does not have the legal or equitable right to be protected by the court she cannot grant the request.
That being said, she mentioned that the applicant was therefore not entitled to any of the reliefs sought.
According to the court, it would be a disservice to quash the decision of the Electoral Commission because it would deny the public the right to also choose their candidates, considering Ghanaians are days away from the elections.
“Granting the applicant’s request will jeopardise the entire election timetable considering the election is just days away, she read in her judgement to the plaintiff.
The judge explained that the delay in filing the suit has tilted the balance of convenience towards the commission, since granting the reliefs will mean a breach of the commission’s constitutional provision.
Mr Gane filed his application on October 29, which was ten days after his disqualification. However, the case came up for hearing on November 23, which was 14 days to election.
She also said the Electoral Commission acted in accordance with the Constitutional Instrument that disqualified the applicant.
Mr Gane, however, expressed his dissatisfaction following the court’s ruling. According to the disqualified candidate, the ruling sets a bad precedent for the country.
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Why Gane was disqualified
Mr. Gane is one of the five presidential aspirants who were disqualified by Ghana’s electoral management body.
According to the EC, some signatures on his nomination forms were forged.
The EC’s technical team found that a number of the signatures endorsing his form had a similar pattern.
The EC said police investigations concluded that a number of the signatures endorsing his forms were all fake.
The case has been referred to the Criminal Investigations Department (CID) of the Police Service for further investigations and possible prosecution.
EC argument against Gane case
According to the commission, the court cannot make declarations or orders for the benefit of the applicant, Mr Gane.
It was the prayer of the commission’s counsel that the court exercise restraint since the applicant is not permitted by law to quash the decision of the commission.
They, therefore, urged the court to dismiss the case. But the plaintiff counsel disagreed.
Mr. Nurudeen Saeed said the applicant has been condemned without being given a fair hearing.
“As we have made abundantly clear in our statement of case, the merit of the case is not whether the applicant was correct or not, it doesn’t matter.
“It’s not relevant whether it is true or not. The applicant is talking about the merits of the case, the allegations of fraud and forgery made against him.
“And they are completely silent on the applicant’s grievances, which is that he was not given a chance before his disqualification,” Mr. Saeed told the court.
Reliefs sought by the disqualified presidential candidate
- To bring up the decision of the Electoral Commission to disqualify him as a presidential candidate in the 2020 presidential election and quash same by an order in the nature of certiorari
- Order the Electoral Commission to afford him the opportunity to correct any alleged errors or irregularities on his nomination paper and/or supporting documents
- Order the Electoral Commission to place his name on the ballot paper for the 2020 presidential elections
- Restrain the Electoral Commission from going ahead to print the ballot papers for the 2020 presidential elections without his name on same.
- General damages
The other disqualified persons from the polls were the United Front Party’s Nana Agyenim Boateng, Kofi Koranteng, an independent candidate; Akwasi Addae Odike of the United Progressive Party (UPP) and Kwasi Busumbru of the People’s Action Party (PAP).