Court slaps GH¢12,000 cost on Techiman South petitioner

BY: Emmanuel Adu-Gyamerah
Mr Christopher Beyere Baasongti
Mr Christopher Beyere Baasongti

The Wenchi High Court has slapped costs totaling Gh¢12,000 on the National Democratic Congress (NDC) 2020 parliamentary candidate for Techiman  South,  Mr Christopher Beyere Baasongti, who is challenging results of the election.

At its sitting on Wednesday, July 14, 2021, the court, presided over by Justice Frederick Arnold Nawurah , imposed the cost after it threw out three motions filed by the petitioner.

The court awarded cost to the two respondents with each — the Electoral Commission (EC), and the New Patriotic Party (NPP) Member of Parliament (MP) for Techiman South, receiving GH¢ 6,000.

Motions

Mr Baasongti’s motions, which were dismissed by the court,  were seeking the appointment of an independent auditor, the production of original pink sheets by the EC and the appointment of a handwriting expert to record the proceedings of the court.

The court further dismissed a motion by the petitioner asking the court to set out the main issues for an early trial

In dismissing the motions,  Justice Nawurah held that the petitioner failed to provide any legal or reasonable basis to convince the court to grant the motions.

The court, however, granted the petitioner’s motion to file and serve supplementary witness statement.

Reactions

Speaking to the media after the sitting, a leading member of the NDC, Alhaji Mohammed Kwaku Doku, described the recent costs being imposed on the petitioner as a hindrance to the successful adjudication of the case.

He added that that would not put any obstacles in the way of the petitioner to enable him to win the case.

For his part, the Techiman South Constituency Secretary of the New Patriotic Party (NPP), Mr Richard Asamoah, however, believes the recent costs being slapped against the NDC shows they had no case.

The court has scheduled its next sitting for July 30, 2021 to continue with the hearing on the writ.

Petition

The Techiman South Parliamentary election petition is one of the 16 legal battles initiated by the ruling NPP and the opposition NDC across the country over the 2020 parliamentary elections

Mr Baasongti argued that per the votes counted at all the polling stations in Techiman South, he (Baasongti) should have been declared the MP-elect.

“That per the pink sheets the petitioner got from his polling agents at each of the 267 polling stations, the petitioner (Baasongti) garnered 50,306 votes in the parliamentary election, while the first respondent (Korsah) got 50,013 votes,” he argued.

The NDC candidate contended that apart from getting the highest number of votes, there was no collation of the results as required by Regulation 43 of the Public Elections Regulations, 2020 (C.I. 127), but the EC’s returning officer ended up declaring Mr Korsah the winner.

“Up to the date of the filing of the instant election petition, neither the petitioner nor any of his representatives has been invited by the second respondent (EC) or its agents for the collation of the parliamentary results of the Techiman South Constituency,” Mr Baasongti argued.

Among other reliefs, the petitioner is seeking an order from the court directed at the EC to collate the results of all the polling stations in Techiman South and also for the EC to publicly declare him as the winner of the 2020 parliamentary election in the constituency