Some members of the National Democratic Congress (NDC) in the Bongo constituency of the Upper East Region have issued a Writ in the Bolgatanga High Court with the aim to prevent the NDC and its constituency executives from holding constituency elections without their participation.
The Writ was accompanied by a Motion of Notice for Interlocutory Injunction praying the Honourable Court to restrain the Defendants/Respondents, their agents, assigns, privies, officers or persons working for them, from conducting the NDC branch elections in the Bongo constituency, or taking any further steps towards the said elections, or disqualifying the plaintiffs or any other party member or contestant, or declaring any contestant unopposed pending the final determination of the suit.
The plaintiffs/Applicants are Stephen Abowine Anafo, Asamane Atiah Thomas, Akugre Agana, Abagbire Donatius Atambila, Richard Akonkabigo, Joseph Mba, Akulbire Albert, Hanna Baba, and Baba Timothy, whereas the Defendants/Respondents (in order) are Tahiru Aberinga, Bongo Nyariga, Stephen Awinemakiya Bowtie, Thomas Atongo, Isaac Abariga, Jacob Abanga, and the NDC Upper East Regional Office, Zuarungu.
In their Statement of Claim, the Plaintiffs state that they are card bearing members of the National Democratic Congress. The Plaintiffs claim that the first to fifth Defendants are constituency executives of the NDC for the Bongo constituency, whereas the sixth defendant is a political party registered and operating under the laws of Ghana.
The Plaintiffs state that as members of the NDC party they are entitled to register, vote and contest the branch and other elections of the party. The Plaintiffs claim that after the NDC party had recently opened nominations for elections to the various branches of the party throughout the country including the Bongo constituency, they duly procured nomination forms and met all the requirements contained in the form to contest the branch elections.
According to the Plaintiffs, the first to fifth Defendants have hijacked the process and are manipulating it to favour their friends and sympathisers.
They added that the said Defendants have, as part of their grand plan, organised some members of the party to make frivolous petitions against other members including them (Plaintiffs) by which means the first to fifth Defendants can use same as a guide to disqualify the members whom they perceive to be against them, from contesting the branch elections. The Plaintiffs state that the first to fifth Defendants through the vetting committee have told the Plaintiffs that some members are petitioning against them (Plaintiffs) from contesting the branch elections, claiming that the Plaintiffs openly campaigned against the party’s candidate during the 2016 elections.
The Plaintiffs claim that the Defendants have refused to disclose who the Petitioners are and have refused to give the Plaintiffs copies of the petition, to enable them respond to same. The Plaintiffs state that the allegations against them are complete falsehood and fabrication without any truth, orchestrated by the first to fifth Defendants and calculated to ensure that they do not contest the elections. According to the Plaintiffs/Applicants, they never complained against the party’s candidate and the Defendants’ allegations and those of the yet-to-be identified petitioners are without any proof and cannot be a basis for the disqualification of the Plaintiffs and others. They stated that they have not been heard and yet the Defendants have claimed that they will take a decision on the petition and publish the list of disqualified people.
The Plaintiffs further state that the conduct of the Defendants is repugnant and a violation of the Plaintiff’s right to be heard under the principles of natural justice.
They added that under the regulations issued by the sixth Defendant for the conduct of the elections, a person disqualified or aggrieved by the elections process may appeal to the constituency executive committee, and then to the regional executive committee, (the very people who are Defendants in this case).
According to the Plaintiffs, the procedure will not ensure justice, fairness and integrity, especially in their current circumstances where they believe that the very people who should hear the appeal are the perpetrators of the violations of the rights of members of the party in the Bongo constituency, including theirs.
According to the Applicants, the first to fifth Respondents have not dealt with the issue of the petition but have already set dates for the elections.
According to the Applicants, if the Defendants are not restrained, they (Plaintiffs) will suffer irreparable damage and greater inconvenience will be caused them as their right to contest would be illegally taking away and no amount of damages could make up for such a loss. The Motion on Notice for injunction is slated for the 17th of May, 2018.