The Chairperson of the Electoral Commission and her deputies, have locked up the Chief Justice in a tight corner, seeking to once again open him up for embarrassment.
In what appears to be another attempt to skip rendering account of their stewardship as the organizers and supervisors of public elections, Jean Adukwei Mensa, Dr Eric Bossman Asare and Samuel Tettey, have surprisingly rushed to the Supreme Court to prevent Justice Kwasi Anin Yeboah, from hearing a petition for their removal.
Oliver Barker-Vormawor, had petitioned the President, Nana Akufo-Addo, over the roles played by the EC’s Chairperson and her two deputies which prevented the people of Santro kofi, Akpafu, Lololi and Likpe (SALL) from voting in the 2020 Parliamentary elections, and had been without a representative in Parliament since 2021.
Barely had the petition gotten to the Chief Justice from the Presidency, which is constitutionally required and as was done by his predecessor, Sophia Akuffo, came a writ from Mrs. Mensa, Dr. Bossman Asare and Mr. Tettey, dragging the Chief Justice before himself to hear and decide on whether to inquire into the petition.
Also added to the suit, are the petitioner, Oliver Barker-Vormawor and the Attorney General. They are accused of leaking the petition seeking their removal in the media.
Per the writ, the Chief Justice is expected to empanel his colleague Justices of the Supreme Court to either allow him hear concerns raised in the petition against Mrs. Mensa, Dr. Bossman Asare and Mr. Tettey or stop him from performing his constitutional responsibility of having the rule of law tested.
Interestingly, this is not the first time that Jean Mensah and her deputies, will be appearing before the Supreme Court judges in an effort to flee from answering questions on the 2020 general elections.
The first, was the 2020 election petition hearing filed by the National Democratic Congress’ (NDC) presidential candidate, John Dramani Mahama, in which Jean Mensa, refused to mount the witness box to account for the irregularities in her figures and percentages obtained by the various Presidential candidates.
Coincidentally, she is being led by the same lawyer, Justice Amenuvor of Amenuvor and Associate law firm, who mounted one of the spirited legal defenses in the history of this country. The efforts of Tsatsu Tsikata, Tony Lithur and others for ex-President Mahama, yielded no result and the petition was thrown out.
The EC commissioners, in their writ, had insisted that a true and proper interpretation of Article 146(8) of the 1992 Constitution, demands that the content of a petition seeking the removal of a public officer must not be published in the media.
However, they contend that is what happened in the case with the petition sent to the President by Mr Barker-Vormawor, who is also the Convenor of #FixTheCountry, to get them removed from office.
The EC Chair and her deputies are seeking reliefs, one of which is an order of “perpetual injunction” placed on the Chief Justice Anin Yeboah, from “determining, dealing, or having anything to do in any manner whatsoever and/or howsoever, with any issues arising out of the contents of Petitioners Petition or at all”.
The petition was filed on Monday, January 10, 2022, in connection with the intentional denial of the right to vote of the people of Santrokofi, Akpafu, Lololi and Likpe (SALL) in the 2020 general parliamentary elections.
The petitioners asserted that the actions of the impugned officials, if considered in context and in light of their preceding and subsequent conduct, meets the threshold of stated misbehaviour and, or incompetence as required under Article 146 of the 1992 Constitution for their removal.
A week later, the lead petitioner – in a communication to the media – said the Presidency had responded to the petition and forwarded it to the Chief Justice.
They were even given the opportunity by the Chief Justice to provide missing pages. It is not clear if the missing pages in the petition while in transit at the presidency was deliberate.
But the EC and her deputies say the action by the petitions constitutes a “sin” against the dictates of Article 146.
In their writ filed at the Supreme Court to invoke the original jurisdiction of the Supreme Court on Wednesday, January 26, 2022, the Plaintiffs are asking for five reliefs including “A declaration that the airing of the contents of the Petition by 1st Defendant to the media (Traditional and social) has subjected 1st, 2nd and 3rd Plaintiffs to public ridicule, hatred, opium and opprobrium and equally exposed them to unfair prejudice.”
They are also seeking “An order of perpetual injunction directed against 2nd Defendant (Chief Justice) from determining, dealing or having anything to do in any manner whatsoever and/or howsoever, with any issues arising out of the contents of Petitioners Petition or at all.”
They also seek “orders and/or directions as this honourable court may deem fit to give effect or enable effect to be given to the orders of this court.”