Sammy Gyamfi frustrated by delayed hearing of EC injunction

A National Communications Officer of the opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC) Sammy Gyamfi has criticized the Supreme Court’s decision to wait for the Chief Justice to provide or certify the date for the injunction hearing against the Electoral Commission as unacceptable.

On JoyNews’ PM Express, Sammy Gyamfi explained that the customary procedure involves the registrar reviewing the court’s calendar and scheduling a hearing date for applicants. 

Regarding injunctions, he noted that the court typically allocates a sufficient timeframe to prevent the application from becoming irrelevant.

“We filed this action in the Supreme Court on Thursday, I mean the main writ and consequently filed the application for injunction. We were not given any return date for the injunction application. We were told that the Chief Justice was out of town and she has to certify or approve the date.”

“That is totally unheard of, it is totally unacceptable and it must be stopped. It does not and cannot happen in any serious civilized country built and run on systems. The practice in the past that we all know of as lawyers is that when processes are filed like that, the registrar of the court checks his calendar and gives you a return date.”

Mr. Gyamfi raised concerns about this decision, emphasizing that it is unprecedented for the head of the judiciary in any country to simultaneously serve as the registrar. 

He argued that it is inappropriate for the Supreme Court’s judicial processes to be halted simply because the Chief Justice is away.

“Assuming without admitting that even the system was right, the point is every leader must learn to delegate power. Assuming without admitting that what they registered to it is true, indeed the Chief Justice is the one vested with the authority to give us a return date.”

“At least, in the absence of the Chief Justice, the reasonable expectation is that she should be able to delegate one of the justices of the Supreme Court, the practice has always been to delegate the senior most act in her stead. If she is not comfortable with the delegation of the senior most, she can delegate anybody to perform that.”

The National Democratic Congress (NDC),on Thursday, September 7,  along with four other political parties, initiated legal action against the Electoral Commission (EC) concerning its insistence on conducting the 2023 limited voter registration exercise exclusively at its district offices.

This lawsuit, which involves the Convention People’s Party (CPP), All People’s Congress (APC), Liberal Party of Ghana (LPG), and the Great Consolidated Popular Party (GCPP), contends that such a decision would disenfranchise a significant number of eligible voters. Consequently, these political parties have petitioned the Supreme Court to halt the electoral management body from proceeding with the exercise until a final determination is reached regarding the substantive matter.

In a Facebook post, former President John Mahama revealed that despite filing the writ and the injunction application at the Supreme Court Registry on Thursday, 7th September 2023, at 2:50 p.m., there has been no progress in the matter.

He argued that when the injunction was submitted, the applicants were informed that the registry was awaiting a date to be scheduled by the Chief Justice, who was outside the jurisdiction at that time.

Mr. Mahama pointed out that even though the Chief Justice has returned to town, there has been no update on the matter, and the EC is preparing to launch the registration exercise tomorrow, which is Tuesday. He expressed his concern, labeling this situation as unprecedented and detrimental to public confidence in the justice delivery system.

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