Chairperson of the Electoral Commission, Jean Mensa
Chairperson of the Electoral Commission, Jean Mensa

The High Court in Tema has dismissed a contempt application against the Electoral Commission (EC) Chairperson, Jean Mensa and her two deputies over the applicant’s failure to ensure proper service.

The applicant, Ayitah Precious, had sought the intervention of the court to commit the EC chairperson, Dr Bossman Eric Asare and Samuel Tettey (in charge of operations as the respondents for contempt over the Limited Voter Registration exercise.

The Court presided over by Justice Patricia Quansah, dismissed the Application as without Proper Service and also slapped the Applicant with a cost of GH¢2000.

Justine Amenuvor counsel for the EC had submitted that, neither the Commission nor the Respondent Commissioners stated in the instant suit were duly served with the proceedings relied on for the instant application by the Applicant.

The Counsel said, the application is without basis per the Applicant’s own search conducted at the registry of the court and attached to the application as Exhibit “AP5”.

Lawyer Amenuvor further submitted that, the Applicant caused the application to be served on a person with a position unknown to the Electoral Commission as per her own search report.

Counsel again submitted, that the proceedings referred to above never got to the notice of the Respondent Commissioners until the exercised had commenced and was proceeding as scheduled.

Ayitah Precious, a private citizen who also described herself as unregistered voter, on September 8, filed an originating motion at the High Court seeking among other things, a declaration that the decision of the EC to restrict the limited voter registration exercise to its 268 district offices is unlawful, and a violation of the applicant’s fundamental human rights and freedoms guaranteed under the Constitution.

But, while the Application was yet to be held, the EC proceeded with the exercise which led to the Applicant filing a Contempt Application on September 12.

In her application for Contempt, she urged the Court to also jail her two deputies – Dr Bossman Eric Asare and Samuel Tettey (in charge of operations).

It was her contention that, the Chairperson and her deputies disregarded the notice, issued a public notice and have commenced with the very action he wanted challenged.

She contended that, “the decision of the Electoral Commission to conduct the limited registration exercise in its district offices is a direct interference with the due administration of justice and prejudicial to the outcome of the Applicant’s pending Interlocutory Injunction Application and the substantive suit before this Honourable Court.”

On the premise of this, Ayitah Precious through her, lawyer Nii Kpakpo Samoa Addo, filed a motion on notice for committal for Contempt pursuant to order 50 rule 1(2) of Constitution Instrument (C.I47).

She named the EC, Jean Mensa, the EC Commissioner and her two deputies – Dr Bossman Eric Asare and Samuel Tettey (in charge of operations as the respondents.

But, Justice Patricia Quansah, after hearing the parties, dismissed the motion for Contempt and awarded Cost of GHc2,000 was awarded against the Applicant in favor of the Respondents.

Meanwhile, the substantive matter, which had become moot, had since October 16, 2023 been withdrawn because by then the exercise had been completed.