EC sued for contempt over ongoing limited voter registration

The Electoral Commission, Ghana (EC) has been sued at an Accra High Court for contempt.

This follows the rollout of the limited voter registration exercise despite an interlocutory injunction filed against the Commission.

Ayitah Precious, a non-registered voter resident in Otsebleku, near Afienya in the Greater Accra Region, on Friday, September 8 secured the interlocutory injunction against the exercise from starting, particular at the districts.

She indicated in her writ that her place of residence is about 44.3 kilometers (km) from EC’s district office in Prampram, using the Accra-Aflao road, and about 37.3km, using the Akosombo-Accra road.

She stressed that she cannot afford the cost of moving from her residence in Otsebleku to the district office in Prampram.

According to her, it would have been closer if the registration had been done in her electoral area.

She, therefore, indicated “that the decision of the 1st Respondent to restrict the limited registration exercise to its district offices, instead of opening up the registration exercise to the already existing electoral areas that are more accessible to me amounts to a suppression and a breach of my right to vote”.

But the EC on Monday, September 11 issued notices for the start of the exercise at its district offices.

Deputy Chair in charge of Corporate Service Dr Eric Bossman Asare had told TV3 on New Day that the Commission is convinced eligible voters will come in their numbers to register.

“We rolled this out and if there are challenges we will go back to the drawing board but currently per the discussions and the analyses that we have done, we are very much convinced that Ghanaians who want to register and take part in the district level elections this year and those who also wanted to register in 2022 and are already 18 years, they will come in their numbers to come and register,” Dr Bossman Asare said.

“But if we receive information contrary to that, the EC will go back to the drawing board but currently on the basis of the evidence we have, we are convinced that registering at the district level will ensure the integrity of our register and Ghanaians will also come out in their numbers.”

But Ayitah Precious went back to the High Court on Monday to pray that the Chair of the Commission, Jean Adukwei Mensa, and her two deputies, Dr Bossman Asare and Samuel Tettey, who is charge of Operations, be cited for contempt.

“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,” the writ said.

“That I am advised by Counsel and verily believe same to be true that where a case has been filed, any action, intention, omission or conduct that is likely to prejudice or prejudices the outcome of the case or interferes with the due administration of justice will be tantamount to contempt of Court.”

She wants the three to be imprisoned.

“That in the circumstances, I humbly pray that this Honourable Court commits the Respondents to prison for Contempt of this Honourable Court.”

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