EC Boss Case Begins July, 14

The Supreme Court has adjourned the hearing of the case in which a journalist has sued the president over the appointment of the next Electoral Commission (EC) boss.

The case could not be heard as scheduled because the Attorney-General’s (A-G’s) Department representing the government, said they were not ready yesterday.

According to Dominic Ayineh, Deputy A-G, his outfit needed time to file its statement of case.

As a result, the seven-member panel, chaired by Chief Justice Georgina Theodora Wood, adjourned proceedings until July 14, 2015 to enable the A-G to file its statement of case.

Richard Dela Sky, a journalist with Citi FM – an Accra-based private radio station – had sued the president over the appointment of an EC boss as Dr. Kwadwo Afari-Gyan is due for retirement on June 18, 2015.

Already, the mode of appointment of his replacement has already generated huge political debate.

Even before Dr. Afari-Gyan officially exits, four personalities – Dr. Emmanuel Akwetey, Executive Director of governance think-tank IDEG; Amadu Sulley, Deputy Chairman of EC; Charlotte Osei, Chairman of NCCE and Justice Senyo Dzamefe, Chairman of the World Cup Commission, had been rumoured as potential successors.

Citing the Attorney-General as the respondent, the journalist filed a writ at the court asking for a clear interpretation of the provisions of the 1992 Constitution on the appointment of an Electoral Commission chairman.

The applicant, who is represented by his solicitors, Dehyena Chambers with Alexander Afenyo-Markins as the lead counsel, wants the court to determine the way and manner the president should do the selection of the next EC boss.

Applicant’s Reliefs
He wants a declaration that ‘upon true and proper interpretation of Article 70(2) of the 1992 Constitution, the provisions of Article 91(3) of the 1992 Constitution have no bearing and inapplicable to the special role of the Council of State in the appointment of the Chairman of the Electoral Commission, his Deputies and other Commissioners.’

The applicant also wants a declaration that ‘upon true and proper interpretation of Article 70(2) of the 1992 Constitution together with Article 91 (4) of the 1992 Constitution, it is the Council of State that has the constitutional mandate to initiate the process of appointment of the Chairman, the Deputies and other Commissioners of the Electoral Commission; and such advice on suitable candidate(s) to be appointed constitutionally is binding on the president.’

He is asking for an order ‘directing the exact procedures to be followed by the Council of State either suo motto or by prompting by the president in such appointments in the light of Article 70(2) of the 1992 Constitution,’ as well as ‘any other order or orders as this Honourable Court may seem meet,’ among other reliefs.

By Jeffrey De-Graft Johnson
[email protected]

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