Lawyer dissects Supreme Court ruling on Amewu

4

For the first time in many cases the Supreme Court (SC) delivered its judgment with reasons at the same time. It may be a sign it want to be seen to be fair and considered in their decisions as far as the current electoral issues are concerned. With reasons readily available pundits could also offer timely and fair critique of their decisions.

This is by no means a plus because that’s what the Court should be doing but have reneged on for a while now.

The proceedings at Ho were attacked on procedure not on substance. That the application should have been brought under Article 99 and section 16. The SC agreed with the submission of the AG on the basis that where a specific remedy is provided despite the presence of a more general remedy, the specific remedy ought to be adopted over the more general rule. This is a fundamental principle of law that we should all agree on.

The merits of the case for the right to vote are still outstanding to be ventilated under the proper procedure.

This issue was not addressed by the Supreme Court but it was also wrong to invoke the inherent jurisdiction of the High Court when there are rules of procedure on the subject. The Inherent jurisdiction is only invoked when one cannot find any rule of procedure under which to file an application. The originating motion could have been faulted on this ground as well.

On whether the Member of Parliament for Hohoe, John Peter Amewu benefitted from the ECs actions or not, is a decision that can go either way, depending on who is taking the shot. It is a fact that he took no official action to deny the rights of the people of ‘SALL’. Above all, he may well obtain votes from SALL a fresh election is conducted.  One cannot say for a fact that all SALL votes would go to one party.

This leads me to my general observation that should the remedy for a human right infringement be the annulment of a parliamentary election or damages or even a mandamus for elections to be held and the votes added to the totals of each candidate?

On the issue of the validity of CI 128 the Deputy Attorney General provided some documents to show when it was gazetted but the SC ruled that they will not touch on it because it does not have any bearing on its decision. All in all a well considered ruling by the apex court.

Elikplim Lorlormavor Agbemava

Lawyer