A court presided over by the Mensah Sarbah Hall Chief Justice, His Lordship Obiri Bernard Koranteng has granted four out of five reliefs sought by presidential Aspirant, Emmanuel Adika in this year’s Junior Common Room (JCR) Elections.
The Court declared null and void section 1(2) and section 3 (2)(d) of the Modular System Elections Act, 2021 as well as Regulations, 8 (ii) of the JCR General Elections Regulations, 2021 (C.I 02) in a hearing that took place at the Christian Reading Room on Monday, May 3, 2021.
The Chief Justice declared that section 1 (2) of the modular system election Act, 2021 contravenes Article 1(2) of the JCR Constitution and therefore null and void as filed by the plaintiff.
Counsel for the plaintiff, Frederick Agyaaya Adongo argued that the Mensah Sarbah Hall’s “constitution shall be the supreme law of Mensah Sarbah Hall Junior Common Room (JCR) and shall be subject to the SRC Constitution and the Statutes of the University of Ghana and the Constitution of Ghana.”
“Where a provision which is a substantive law in the 2015 Constitution of Mensah Sarbah hall JCR is inconsistent or conflicts with a provision of this Act, this Act shall, except as otherwise in any election not involving a modular system, prevail,” Section 1(2) of the Modular System Elections Act, 2021 reads.
The Court granted their relief because as it believes, section 1(2) of the Modular System Elections Act, 2021 breaches the provision in the JCR constitution.
“For the avoidance of doubt, no results shall be displayed at any polling center, nor displayed to any candidate’s polling agent,” Section 3 (2)(d) of the Modular System Elections Act, 2021 stipulates.
Counsel for the plaintiff indicated that the previous clause flies in the face of the JCR Constitution. They substantiated their claim with Articles 10(1) and 10(4) of the spirit of the JCR Constitution.
“Except as provided for in Article 11 (2), all members of the Executive with the exception of the Legal Advisor shall be elected through a secret ballot,” Article 10(1) of the JCR Constitution states.
“The candidate with the highest number of votes shall be declared elected and in the event of a tie there shall be second round of election for the office in question within one week,” Article 10(4) of the JCR Constitution states.
Mensah Sarbah Hall Judicial Board speaking through the Chief Justice, Obiri Bernard Koranteng further dismissed Regulations, 8 (ii) of the JCR General Elections Regulations, 2021 (C.I 02) which stipulates that “an aspirant for any executive office must obtain a mark of at least 70% based on the criteria for selection used by the vetting committee”.
The court ordered that the vetting committee not to disqualify any applicant base on the 70% threshold.
Earlier, the plaintiff, Emmanuel Adika has called on the Electoral Commission (EC) to declare the results of every poll.
He explained that candidates are stakeholders in the elections and as a result, the EC cannot hide the results they polled respectively at the end of every voting exercise.
The Judicial board granted the plaintiff the relief thereby ordering the EC to make the results of every poll to candidates polling agents.
Meanwhile, the Court maintained that the defendant, Electoral Commission can go ahead with its plans to organize binary elections.
Lead Counsel for the plaintiff, Frederick Agaaya Adongo said he is satisfied with the reliefs granted them.
“Essentially we have got what we wanted from the court except that but the only thing we couldn’t get was the challenge of the binary election system, basically the court has accepted that the electoral commission goes on with the binary system” he said.
Aspirant drags EC, JCR to Court
A Presidential Aspirant, Emmanuel Adika has dragged the local Electoral Commission and the Legal Advisor of the Hall to Court over contravention of some clauses with the Constitution.
The clauses are contained in the recently passed Modular System Elections Bill and the Constitutional Instrument (C.I) to regulate the 2020/2021 JCR elections.
The plaintiff, Emmanuel Adika prayed the Court to declare as null and void the following clauses:
Section 1(2) of the Modular System Elections Act, 2021 that contravenes Article 1(2) of the JCR Constitution; Section 3 (2)(d) of the Modular System Elections Act, 2021 that contravenes Articles 10(1) and 10(4) of the spirit of the JCR Constitution; Regulations, 8 (ii) of the JCR General Elections Regulations, 2021 (C.I 02) contravenes Articles 9 and 10 (2)(d) of the JCR Constitution;
Counsel for the Plaintiff, Frederick Agyaaya Adongo implored the Mensah Sarbah Hall Judicial Board (Court) to order the striking out of sections 1(2), 3(1), and 3(2)(d) of the Modular System Elections Act, 2021 and regulation 8(ii) of the JCR General Elections regulations, 2021 as they believe these portions are unconstitutional, null and void.
The case was filed on Thursday, April 29, 2021, and the Mensah Sarbah Hall Judicial Board imposed an injunction on electoral processes on Friday, April 30, 2021, pending determination of the substantive matter on Monday, May 3, 2021.
Story by: Eli Djomekou and Henry Mensah |universnewsroom.com