Supreme Court to rule on EC and NPP motions

The Supreme Court would on Tuesday, February 5, 2013, give ruling on the Electoral Commission’s (EC) motion for “further and better” particulars from the petitioners, as well as the NPP’s application for interrogatories on the number of people registered.

The court adjourned the case after lawyers on both sides had argued for and against why the court should grant the two applications.

At the last sitting the NPP raised a protest against Mr Tsatsu Tsikata making an oral presentation on their application for interrogatories on the EC since the NDC had not filed any formal motion in relation to that matter.

Mr Tsatsu Tsikata, lead Counsel for the NDC, moving the motion, said the objective of any interrogatories in a matter was to obtain the fact material of the issue before the court.

He said the petitioners instead of focusing on the main petition, were using the interrogatories as means to amend their earlier petition and to seek fresh reliefs beyond what was before the court.

He said the election petition of this nature under CI 74 was to have the matter heard justly and expeditiously.

Mr Tsikata said even though CI 74 does not have provision on interrogatories, however CI 47 (22) is material in outlining these significant facts.

He said the court was obliged to apply strict criteria in the interest of justice, efficiency and expeditious delivery.

He said the court should not allow itself to be used by petitioners to go into academic research and projects but how to advance the expeditiousness of the case.

Mr Tsikata further argued there was no indication in the pleadings of the petitioners that they would be making interrogatories and granting them the application would be dangerous.

“The application by the petitioners is in the nature of a fishing expedition across the sea and should not be countenance by the court” he added.

He said the petitioners came under original jurisdiction of the court and that they should not be allowed to abuse the process.

Mr James Quarshie Idun, Counsel for EC denied claims from the NPP that some voting in the December 7 elections took place outside Ghana.

He said all the voting in the 26,002 polling stations took place in the country.

Mr Philip Addison, Lead Counsel for the petitioners stated that there was nowhere in the petitioner’s motion which talked about people voting outside Ghana but rather the number of people registered and over voting.

He said the interrogatories being sought by the petitioners relates to the matter and is necessary for the speedy adjudication of the case.

He said the rules on interrogatories are clear and that the matter should be between two parties, that is the petitioners and the second respondent, which is the EC.

He said he did not see why the NDC who had not been served with any motion would seek to oppose the application when the lawyers of the EC had not raised any issue about the suit.

Mr Addison further debunked the NDC’s claim that the interrogatories were an attempt by the petitioners to amend their earlier petition and to abuse the court process.

 

Source: GNA