A resident of Otsebleku, near Afienya in the Greater Accra Region, Precious Ayitah, has filed a contempt application against the Chairperson of the Electoral Commission (EC) and her two deputies, Dr Bossman Eric Asare and Mr Samuel Tette
The contempt action according to Precious Ayitah’s motion, was filed because of the EC’s decision to proceed with the limited voters registration exercise commencing today Tuesday 12 September 2023 to Monday 2 October 2023, inspite of her injunction application against the process.
Contention of applicant
Ms Ayitah, in her motion filed on notice on Tuesday 12 September 2023, argues that the EC has disregarded the said injunction application and further continued to state publicly their intention to continue with the limited voter registration exercise in its current form.
“That on the 11th of September 2023, there was a press release by the Electoral Commission stating that the limited Registration exercise will begin on the 12th September 2023 at its 268 District Offices of the Electoral Commission.
“That the Respondents act of putting measures in place to go ahead with the limited registration exercise in its District offices whilst this Court is yet to hear and determine the Applicant’s Interlocutory Injunction Application is prejudicial to the outcome of the application before the Court, and is calculated to prejudice and overreach the Applicant’s originating motion on notice and injunction application pending before this Honourable Court” the motion filed at the court read.
“The Respondents intentions to continue with the limited voter registration exercise at its district offices jeopardizes the outcome of the Applicant’s Interlocutory Injunction Application and the substantive suit before this Court and is therefore contemptuous of this Honourable Court.
“The EC chairperson and her two deputies deserve a custodial prison sentence and nothing less for bringing the administration of justice into disrepute. I humbly pray that this Honourable Court commits the Respondents to prison for Contempt of this Honourable Court” Ms Ayitah’s further prayed the court in her motion.
Ms Ayitah, in her originating motion filed on notice on Friday 8 September 2023, the applicant indicates that she resides at Otsebleku, near Afienya in the Greater Accra Region of the Republic of Ghana, and that is about Forty-four point three kilometres (44.3 km) from the district office of the Electoral Commission in Prampram using the Accra-Aflao Road and about Thirty-seven point five kilometres (37.3 km) using the Akosombo-Accra Road.
“I cannot afford the cost of moving from my residence at Otsebleku to the EC district office at Prampram to take part in the limited voter registration exercise and that the limited registration centre designated in my electoral area will be closer in proximity to my residence” the applicant, Ayitah Precious stated in her motion.
“That the decision of the EC to restrict the limited registration exercise to its district offices, instead of opening up the registration exercise to the already existing electoral areas that are more accessible to me amounts to a suppression and a breach of my right to vote” the applicant further stated in her supporting documents filed at the court.
District level elections
Chairperson of the Electoral Commission, Mrs Jean Mensa on 17 August 2023, announced at a press briefing in Accra, dubbed “Let the Citizen Know,” that it would commence a registration exercise for eligible Ghanaians who turned 18 years old and other eligible voters who could not register after the 2020 registration exercise to register on Tuesday, September 12, 2023.
The Chairperson of the EC also indicated that the registration exercise would end on Monday, October 2, 2023 and it would be held at all the 268 district offices of the Electoral Commission across the country.
The district level elections for which the limited registration was being organised would be held on Tuesday 19 December 2023 and it would take place in all the 6,272 electoral areas in all the districts in the country except the Nkoranza North and Nkoranza South districts in the Bono Region which will be held in 2025.
A copy of the suit filed at the registry of the high court indicated that the case will first be heard on Monday 16 October 2023. The applicant is represented by lawyer Nii Kpakpo Samoa Addo.