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Kofi Gane’s application against EC thrown out

BY: GNA
Marricke Kofi Gane

An Accra High Court has dismissed an application filed by Marricke Kofi Gane, an independent presidential aspirant for the 2020 elections, who challenged his disqualification by the Electoral Commission (EC).

Mr Gane had asked the court to compel the EC to add his name to the presidential ballot as a candidate.

Delayed filing

In its ruling, the court presided over by Mrs Justice Elfreda Denkyi, said Mr Gane delayed in filing his application before it.

The court further said in scale of balance of convenience, the general public would be denied their right to a candidate of their choice should the application be granted in view of the situation at hand, adding that Mr Gane had no right to be protected.

According to the court, Mr Gane was also not entitled to any of the reliefs sought hence the dismissal of the application.

Disqualification

Mr Gane was disqualified from the presidential race by the EC.

Dissatisfied with the EC’s decision, he filed an application for certiorari in the form of a judicial review, asking the High Court to invoke its supervisory jurisdiction against the EC’s decision to disqualify him from the 2020 polls.

Gane’s contention

Mr Gane through his lawyer, Mr Nurudeen Saeed, had argued that he was not given the opportunity to be heard on the allegation of forgery and improprieties against him by the EC.

The applicant contended that even though the EC said they had referred the matter to the Criminal Investigations Department (CID) of the Ghana Police Service, neither he nor his supporters had been invited for questioning.

Counsel for the applicant argued that the move was in breach of natural justice, and prayed the court to order the EC to put his client’s name on the presidential ballot for the 2020 polls.

EC response

In its response, the EC held that the court could not make any declaration in the nature of what the applicant was asking because the court did not have the nomination forms to make a proper judgement.

Counsel for the EC, Mr Justine Amenuvor, said the respondent had tied the hands of the applicant by keeping his nomination form from him and he could not profit from same.

The commission contended that, a certiorari application did not act as an automatic grant, but a discretionary one.

According to the EC, the court could not make the said orders or declarations that the applicant was asking the court to because the court did not have the said nomination forms to understand what actually happened.

The commission, therefore, asked the court to dismiss the application in its entirety.

Context

Mr Gane had invoked the High Court’s supervisory jurisdiction in an application for review of the EC’s decision to disqualify him from the 2020 polls.

Mr Gane was disqualified together with four other presidential aspirants and was further accused of forgery.

The EC’s technical team found that a number of the signatures endorsing his form had a similar pattern.

According to the commission, police subsequently came to the conclusion that a number of the signatures endorsing his forms were fake.

The applicant wanted the court to restrain the commission from printing the ballot papers for the presidential poll without his name on it.