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High Court To Deliver Judgement On SALL Case As Amewu, EC ‘Dodges’ Tsikata’s Cross-Examination



Justice Yaw Owoahene Acheampong of the High Court in Ho has scheduled July 29, 2024, to deliver his judgment in the case concerning the alleged disenfranchisement of over 17,000 voters in the Santrokofi, Akpafu, Likpe, and Lolobi (SALL) traditional areas during the 2020 election. The case, filed by Professor Margaret Kweku, the National Democratic Congress (NDC) Parliamentary candidate, challenges the Electoral Commission’s (EC) conduct during the election.

John Peter Amewu, the New Patriotic Party (NPP) candidate who won the Hohoe Constituency seat, chose not to testify in his defense. Amewu, currently the Railway Development Minister, had previously amended his witness statement but ultimately decided against appearing in court. His counsel, Benedict Kofitse, argued that the issues in the case were primarily legal and did not require Amewu’s testimony.

The court had planned to hear Amewu’s testimony at the latest proceedings but was left disappointed when he did not appear. The EC also declined to enter the witness box. Kofitse notified the court that he would address the legal matters instead of having his client testify. This decision follows Amewu’s earlier evasion of court bailiffs and alleged incidents of violence by his associates against the bailiffs.

Justice Owoahene Acheampong directed that the addresses by counsel for the petitioners and the EC be filed within seven days, while granting Amewu’s counsel 10 days to file their address. The judge emphasized that non-compliance with these timelines would not be tolerated.

During the proceedings, Tsatsu Tsikata, counsel for the petitioners, criticized Amewu’s behavior, suggesting it undermined the court’s authority. The case had been due to continue on June 26, 2024, with Amewu expected to testify.

The court also added two additional legal issues filed by Amewu’s counsel. These issues concern whether the court has the authority to declare that the enactment of C.I 128 violated Article 47(5) of the 1992 Constitution and whether the EC had the power to place the SALL communities under the Jasikan District.

Tsikata argued that the issues already set down by the court encompassed these additional issues and that the court was only required to apply the constitutional provisions as they stood. He referenced several Supreme Court decisions to support his argument, asserting that C.I 119 was inconsistent with the Local Governance Act and did not alter the composition of the Hohoe Municipality.

In contrast, Kofitse and counsel for the EC contended that the court lacked jurisdiction to declare C.I 128 unconstitutional. They argued that C.I 128 was the governing instrument for the 2020 election nationwide.

Justice Acheampong ordered that if the 2nd Respondent wished to file an additional witness statement, it should be done within three days. Kofitse indicated that they might not file an additional witness statement and could opt not to testify at all.

The judgment on this significant case, which has attracted considerable public interest, is eagerly anticipated on July 29, 2024.

Source: GhanaFeed.Com

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