HomeTrendingKabu Nartey writes: UG SRC Judicial Board orders new elections at Akuafo...

Kabu Nartey writes: UG SRC Judicial Board orders new elections at Akuafo and Sarbah Hall

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Unfortunately, there are two bodies hearing the present petition filed by Nana B after the just ended elections –

  1. An Adhoc Committee set up by the Dean of Students Affairs. The justification was that there was no Judicial Board at the time of the petition from the aggrieved party. Article 38 of the University of Ghana Statutes gives him the power to do so;
  2. The SRC Judicial Board, which has the exclusive jurisdiction to try all matters concerning students including election-related petitions. Article 42 of the SRC Constitution, 2013, gives it the power to do so.

 

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I continue to hold the view that the Judicial Board is a constitutional creature that never died during the so-called transition from previous SRC leadership to the current one. This body is superior to an emergency Committee (Adhoc Committee) whose creation in the first place was misconceived. The compound effect of Articles 42(3) and Article 47 (1) (2) and (3) establishes this view. Also, the continuity of the Judiciary was established in the Ghana Bar Association (GBA) & OR vrs AG & OR [2016]. Prof Date-Bah in his Reflections of the Supreme Court of Ghana in 2015 further traced this important nature and history of the Judiciary in both military and civil regimes (See pages 23-55; 200-236).

Therefore, it is my respectful opinion that the Adhoc Committee be dissolved.

On 10th December 2021, the Judicial Board gave a ruling granting in parts, the reliefs of the Petitioner. Whilst the court is yet to publish a full judgment, I wish to contribute for simple understanding of the ruling.

The legal effect of this order is that the Electoral Commission should organise fresh elections for level 200s and 300s at SARBAH HALL and AKUAFO HALL online.

The court upheld the argument by the Petitioner’s lead Counsel Abraham Joojo Afun (President UG Law School) that the extension of time at the SARBAH HALL led to some over-voting. A videotape was tendered into evidence to analyse the people in the queue waiting to vote after the voting time AND that of the voter roll.

In cross-examination, the EC Officer at AKUAFO HALL admitted to vote stuffing at that polling station but added that the EC took steps to sort out the irregular votes. The court insists that it was a compromise of the sanctity of the results. I liken this to mixing sand with sugar and a swift attempt to separate these grains.

However, the court refrained from canceling the entire election results on the principle of inclusiveness [emphasis mine]. I find wisdom in this. For instance, Per P. Baffoe-Bonnie JSC in Akufo-Addo & Bawumia & Obetsebi-Lamptey vrs Mahama & EC & NDC [2013]:

“The petitioners’ novel legal theory of annulling so-called tainted votes that would permit a segment of the population i.e some 4 million voters, to be disenfranchised finds no place in a democracy built upon principles of inclusiveness, equality, and citizen participation” [emphasis is mine]

It is interesting to learn from this case that the Judicial Board obeyed the principle of inclusiveness and nullification set by the Supreme Court of Ghana in the 2013 and 2020 Election Petition Hearings. The proof of electoral irregularities and nullification thereof is VERY HIGH.

In order words, the court is saying, to prove that the pockets of overvoting, vote stuffing, and other irregularities recorded can cancel an entire election, is a tall order that should be established with strong evidence by the Petitioner.

KABU NARTEY is a UG Law Students’ Representative to the UG SRC General Assembly.

Black Salute!

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Source:universnewsroom.com

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