PPP vs EC: Court to Give Final Rule on Nduom’s Disqualification Case Today

The Accra High Court where hearing of the PPP disqualification case has been ongoing will pass judgement on the suit today

Today, being the 28th of October, the PPP disqualification case which an Accra High Court has been handling will be finally ruled on. The Progressive Peoples’ Party (PPP) with its flagbearer, Paa Kwesi Nduom on Friday, the 14th of October, filed a suit against the Electoral Commission (EC), challenging their disqualification from contesting in the 2016 presidential election.

The PPP disqualification case which has been heard on the 20th and 25th of October will be concluded today, the 28th of October.

Background to the PPP Disqualification Case

The EC on October 10, disqualified PPP’s Kwesi Nduom, NDP’s Konadu Agyeman and 11 other presidential aspirants [See Full List]. Nduom was disqualified on the grounds of not meeting the requirements for the number of subscribers in his nomination form.

Following the disqualifications, Nduom stated that “Progressives do not give up easily”. He also faulted the EC over an error found on his filing fee receipt, arguing that since the EC also makes mistakes, it should pardon those of others. Nduom also argued that the CI 94 law which governs elections, requires the EC to notify him of the error in his file, as well as give him an opportunity to correct it. To have his stance justified, the presidential aspirant with his party dragged the EC to court.

The suit has Dr. Papa Kwesi Nduom as the exparte applicant, Charlotte Osei, the EC Chairperson,as the first respondent, and the EC as the second respondent. Lawyers J. Ayikoi Otoo and Thadaeus Sory are the counsel for the applicant and defendant for the respondents respectively. In the suit, the following prayers were made by the applicant:

  • An order of prohibition to restrain the EC from proceeding with balloting for position of presidential candidates for the 7th December elections.
  • A further order directed against the 1st Respondent in her capacity as Returning Officer for Presidential elections to grant the Applicant the opportunity to amend and alter the one anomaly found in his nomination papers as well as accept his nomination papers as amended or altered to enable him contest as a Presidential Candidate for the 7th December 2016 elections.
  • An order for Judicial Review by way of Certiorari to bring to this Court the decision of the Respondents dated 10th October, 2016, which disqualified the Applicant as a Presidential Candidate for the 2016 General Elections, for purposes of having same quashed upon the grounds of… (1) Breach of the rules of natural justice (2) Error apparent on the face of the record and (3) Failing to live the requirement as imposed by law.

At the first hearing on October 20, lawyer for the Electoral Commission (EC), Thaddeus Sory, moved a motion for abridgment of time. He had argued that the EC needed to print ballot papers and other Electoral materials so they wanted the matter to be heard as early as possible. This was in reaction to the PPP’s writ, which prayed the court to bar the Commission from proceeding with balloting for positions for presidential candidates ahead of the 2016 polls. The application by the EC to abridge the time for the hearing of the injunction suit was granted by the court on same day.

Meanwhile, the EC said it cannot be ordered by a court to accept Nduom’s nomination form. According to Sory, the Commission is an independent body therefore, it cannot take instructions from any other body. He also argued that the applicants did not file the suit through the correct procedure, hence it should be dismissed by the court.

However, Paa Kwesi Nduom has said he will take the case to the Supreme Court if the High Court fails to rule in his favour.