Court sets June 11 to hear election petition against Amewu

Source The Ghana Report

The High Court in Ho has announced a schedule for the election petition hearing against the Hohoe Member of Parliament (MP) John Peter Amewu.

The petition was filed by a 2020 parliamentary candidate for the Hohoe constituency, Professor Margaret Kweku and others from Santrokofi, Akpafu, Likpe, and Lolobi (SALL).

In their application, the petitioners insist they were denied their right to vote in the Hohoe constituency after the creation of the Oti region, which warranted the creation of a new constituency.

According to them, the creation of the Oti region, coupled with a Supreme Court decision and failure of the Electoral Commission to create a constituency for them, meant they did not vote for a parliamentary candidate in the 2020 general election, which saw the then-NPP candidate Amewu emerging as the winner.

This, they say, is a breach of their rights.

The court will hear the matter on June 11, 20 and 21, 2024.

Before that, a case management conference will take place on June 3, 2024. A case management conference (CMC) is when both sides, the lawyers (if any), and the judge meet to set the timelines for the trial.

Lawyers for the petitioners, Tsatsu Tsikata and Philip Jimanor, and  Peter Amewu’s lawyer,  Benedict Kofitse, were in court on Tuesday, May 21.

However, the Electoral Commission failed to make an appearance.

A displeased judge, Justice Owoahene Acheampong, warned the commission to desist from such practice.

“I must put on record that this court condemns the lackadaisical attitude of the 1st Respondent [Electoral Commission] in this matter,” the court said.

All parties in the case have also been ordered to file their witness statements and any documents they may wish to rely on within 10 days.

Additionally, the commission was ordered to file “authentic copies of C.I 119, C.I 128 as well as the list of voters they registered in the SALL traditional areas within 10 days”.

The trial judge also ordered that hearing notice be served on the Director of Operations of the Electoral Commission and their lawyer to ensure their appearance in court.

The court set down the following issues for trial:

1. Whether the representation of the people (parliamentary constituencies) Instrument, 2016, C.I. 95 was validly amended by the representation of the people (parliamentary constituencies) Instrument, 2020, C.I. 128 for the elections in December 2020.

2. Whether C.I. 112 made Santrokofi, Akpafu, Likpe and Lolobi (SALL) traditional areas part of the Oti region.

3. Whether C.I. 119 issued by the 1st respondent lawfully realigned the boundaries of the Hohoe Municipality as established by the Local Government (Hohoe Municipal Assembly) (Establishment) Instrument, 2012, L.I. 2151.

4. Whether or not the non-participation of voters in the SALL traditional areas in the Hohoe Constituency Parliamentary election of 7th December 2020 invalidates the gazetting of the 2nd Respondent as the duly elected Member of Parliament for the Hohoe Constituency.

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