• Politics

    SALL Election Petition: Tsatsu Tsikata seeks to withdraw application for judgment over EC’s admission

    At the hearing in the High Court, Ho, on Friday, January 19, 2024, of the election petition against the Member of Parliament for Hohoe, John-Peter Amewu, Tsatsu Tsikata, the lawyer representing five petitioners from SALL has requested the court’s permission to withdraw an application for judgment based on admissions made by the first respondent, the Electoral Commission of Ghana (EC).

    The petitioners from Santrokofi, Akpafu, Likpe, and Lolobi (SALL) filed a petition in the High Court in Ho seeking to nullify the election of John-Peter Amewu as the MP for Hohoe.

    Initially, Mr. Tsikata had moved an application on behalf of his clients, urging the court to issue a judgment following admissions made by the EC’s lawyer, Sekyi Boampong, regarding errors in the events leading to the 2020 elections, specifically related to the clashes concerning CIs 95, 112, and 128.

    Before the court could deliver the judgment, John-Peter Amewu, the second respondent, through his lawyer Benedict Kofitse, applied for leave to enter a late appearance and sought to stay the court’s judgment. The court granted Amewu’s application to enter a late appearance but dismissed the application to halt the court’s ruling.

    In the hearing on Friday, January 19, 2024, at the Ho High Court, Mr. Tsikata moved a motion on notice to withdraw the initial application for judgment on admissions. He argued that, despite the desire of his clients to expedite the matter, it was prudent for the court to hear the claims of the late entrant, John-Peter Amewu, to make an informed decision. Mr. Tsikata emphasized the urgency of the matter, stating that the 8th Parliament of the Fourth Republic would conclude without the participation of SALL Traditional Areas if the court did not set aside the election.

    In response to Justice Owoahene Acheampong about entertaining an application to withdraw an application already moved before the court, Mr. Tsikata cited an analogous precedent from the Supreme Court allowing the withdrawal of a case brought before the court for constitutional interpretation among other cases. He also referred to Article 296 (a) and (b) of the 1992 Constitution, arguing that the court should exercise its discretion fairly and reasonably.

    Both the lawyer for the Electoral Commission, Mr. Sakyi-Boampong, and the lawyer for Mr. Amewu, Mr. Benedict Kofitse, expressed no opposition to the withdrawal application. Justice Owoahene Acheampong adjourned his ruling to February 7, 2024.

    Additionally, the court considered the application for directions from the Petitioners for trial, but the Electoral Commission requested more time to consult with its clients. Justice Owoahene Acheampong ruled that he would address the application for directions after ruling on the withdrawal motion, and the matter was adjourned to February 7, 2024.

    On January 4, 2024, Hon. Peter Amewu filed his Answer to the election petition, and the Petitioners filed a reply on January 9, 2024. The Petitioners also replied to the Electoral Commission’s Answer and the application for directions, requesting authentic copies of Constitutional Instrument 119 and Constitutional Instrument 128 relied upon by the Commission in its defence.

    The Petitioners claim that the 2020 election in Hohoe denied SALL residents their fundamental right to vote and representation in the 8th Parliament of the Fourth Republic and are seeking Justice.


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