A pressure group, calling itself the League of Reformers, has said that the scuffle between the Ghana Institute of Journalism and some Students Representative Council executive aspirants in the 2019 election could have been avoided.
According to the group which is based on the campus of the Ghana Institute of Journalism, some of the grounds on which the SRC Electoral Commission stood on to disqualify some aspirants indicates that due diligence was done done before the vetting of aspirants.
GIJ SRC made headlines earlier this week after its EC disqualified over 10 aspirants for peculiar reasons.
Whilst some of the aspirants were barred on grounds that they did not serve the SRC for at least 6 months, others were declared ineligible to contest in the election because they failed to meet the 70% pass mark set by the SRC Vetting Panel.
Other reasons the EC gave for disqualifying some aspirants was that, they had provided incorrect information in filling of their nomination form.
In an interview with ranking member of the group, Efo Korku Mawutor, he described some of the basis for the disqualification as ‘petty’ and says that they could have been pointed out to the aspirants the moment they submitted their forms.
“…apart from issues of pass mark, most of the issues raised by EC as a reason for disqualification of some aspirants are issues the EC could have looked into when nomination forms were submitted.
It goes to show that the EC did not do due diligence before conducting vetting. Issues like incorrect TIN and whether or not aspirants and running-mates had served the constitutional requirements and are too petty to have come out after a vetting.”
Mawutor further added that the development, coupled with rumors that the current executive of the SRC had misappropriated funds and were looking at all means possible to raise funds for their activity, the mass disqualification does not serve the SRC well.
“Whiles the EC might think that failing such mass number of aspirants will give it a serious and diligent outlook in the eye of the people, the opposite has happened.
Most people feel it’s just an attempt to ensure certain people find their way into power and also a means of making more money for the SRC executive.
And at a time when rumours are rife that the SRC Executive has misappropriated students’ funds, this move by the EC does not serve the SRC well.
Following three separate cases sent to the SRC Judicial Board against the EC, the elections, which was scheduled for Sunday April 7 and Monday April 8, was postponed to Sunday April 14 and 15, 2019.
Three disqualified aspirants, Philip Kwame Sarbah, Cedric Kekeli Afewu and Richmond Bediako Mortty, all filed a suit against the EC, challenging the basis for their disqualification from the SRC race.
Cedric Afewu and Kwame Sarbah were both disqualified on grounds that they had not served the SRC for at least 6-months.
Richmond Mortty was also disqualified for not meeting the 70% pass mark set by the Vetting Committee.
In the court ruling, Cedric Afewu and Kwame Sarbah were advised by the court to pick forms to contest in the election as the court overlooked the basis of their disqualification.
The decision of the Vetting Panel on Richmond Mortty was however upheld.
Story by: Jeffrey Nyabor|universnewsroom.com