Member of Parliament for Tolon Habib Iddrisu, Electoral Commission and Attorney General have been dragged to court over the December 2020 elections.
The suit was filed by a National Youth Organiser Aspirant of the opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC) Yaw Brogya Genfi, on Monday, November 7.
The facts underpinning the instant action are that between October 5 and 9, 2020, the first defendant [Habib Iddrisu] filed nominations to contest for election as a Member of Parliament for the Tolon Constituency in the Northern Region.
The first defendant who was subsequently vetted and qualified by the second defendant [Electoral Commission] won the election and was so declared by the second defendant.
But the plaintiff avers that prior to the date of filing his nomination to contest the 2020 parliamentary elections and his subsequent election as the Member of Parliament, the first defendant was a resident of the Commonwealth of Australia.
In his writ, the plaintiff revealed that while a resident in the Commonwealth of Australia, the first defendant was charged with one count of forgery and ten counts of fraud.
He reportedly went for trial at the Perth Magistrates Court where he pleaded guilty to all the charges.
According to a document obtained by the plaintiff from the victim of the first defendant’s crimes and attached to the affidavit in verification filed in the court, the first defendant forged and fraudulently used the MasterCard of one Gideon Tafon, the complainant to make purchases.
“In a letter dated December 5, 2011, the Western Australia Police Murdoch Police Station wrote to Mr Gideon Tafon to inform him that an order of restitution of an amount of $4,999.00 was made by the magistrate in Mr Tafon’s favour after the conviction of the first defendant by the magistrate.
“Again, in the said letter, it was stated that the first defendant had informed the court that he had paid the said money in full to Mr Tafon,” as stated in the writ.
The case of the plaintiff is that despite the Tolon MP’s conviction for the offences of forgery and fraud, he still went ahead to file his nomination with the second defendant in October 2020, to contest the parliamentary elections in the Tolon constituency.
This, the plaintiff further argued is in violation of Article 94 (2) (c) (i) of the 1992 constitution of Ghana.
Article 94 (2) (c) (i) states that a person shall not qualify to be a Member of Parliament if he has been convicted of high crime under this constitution or high treason or treason or for an offence involving the security of the state — fraud, dishonesty or moral turpitude.
The plaintiff, therefore, stressed that by reason of the conviction and by operation of Article 94 (2) (c) (i), the first defendant was not qualified to be a Member of Parliament when he filed his nominations with Ghana’s electoral body.
Among other things the plaintiff wants the apex court to rule that the first defendant was not qualified when he filed his nomination with the second defendant in October 2020.
He wants the court to further hold that the first defendant’s election and subsequent swearing-in was unconstitutional and of no legal effect.