The Supreme Court has fixed March 30, 2021, to rule on a review application, which gave the Electoral Commission (EC) the go-ahead to gazette John Peter Amewu as the Member of Parliament for Hohoe Constituency.
The court, presided over by Justice Yaw Apau, fixed the date after the Chief State Attorney, Mrs Grace Ewool and Tsatsu Tsikata argued their cases.
Mr Tsikata, who represented the residents of Santrokofi, Akpafu, Likpe and Lolobi (SALL), contended that the apex court of the land fundamentally erred when it quashed the decision of the Ho High Court, which granted an injunction to the residents of the areas in dispute.
He contended that the court breached the fundamental human rights of the residents when it quashed an order by the Ho High Court which had placed injunction on the EC from presenting Mr Amewu as Member of Parliament-elect for Hohoe.
Mrs Ewool opposed the review application and relied on the January 5, 2021 statement of case filed by the State.
According to her, the issues raised by Mr Tsikata had been determined by the Supreme Court and that counsel was only rehashing those arguments.
Mrs Ewool said counsel for SALL had also raised no new and important issues to warrant the grant of the review application.
She said the only issue that ought to be considered was ground eight of Mr Tsikata’s review application.
On January 5, 2021, the five-member panel of the court, presided over by Justice Appau in a unanimous decision, held that the Ho High Court erred in granting the order since it did not have the jurisdiction to do so.
The court held that while the Ho High Court’s decision was about election petition, the original case, which invoked the jurisdiction of the court was about human rights violations.
It noted that it was, therefore, strange the court orders were about Mr Amewu’s election rather than the denial of the right of the people of SALL to vote.
It, therefore, annulled all the proceedings of the court’s sitting by Justice George Buadi, which granted the injunction to freeze the gazetting of Mr Amewu.
The applicants had insisted they had been denied their rights to vote in the Hohoe Constituency after the creation of the Oti Region, which warranted the creation of a new constituency.
The apex court also held that the order given by the court on December 23, last year, as of January 5, 2020, was non-existent since the 10 days injunction granted by the court had elapsed.
“Our jurisdiction does not extend to the C.I. 128, guiding the conduct of the EC. It is the EC who must correct the issue regarding the Buem constituency.
“Whether they [People of SALL] should vote at the Buem constituency is not the issue before us. It is a matter between the interested parties and the EC.
“If the interested parties were denied the right to vote, what has that got to do with the gazetting of the Hohoe MP-elect? He is not an agent of EC neither did he perform any decision for the EC, so why should he be the point of discussion?
“If the contention of the SALL people is that Amewu was not duly elected because of infractions, that would have been different but that is not the case here,” Justice Appau said.