Story: New Desk
The High Court in Ho has dismissed an application filed by the Member of Parliament (MP) for Hohoe, John Peter Amewu, to stay the ruling of the court on an election petition regarding the disenfranchisement of residents of Santrokofi, Akpafu, Lipke, and Lolobi (SALL) in the 2020 general elections.
The presiding judge, Justice Owoahene Acheampong, was scheduled to rule on the application on December 21, 2023.
This was in response to an application filed by the lawyers for the petitioners, Tsatsu Tsikata, based on admissions made by the Electoral Commission (EC).
However, the proceedings were interrupted by an application from Mr. Amewu’s lawyer.
The application sought, among other things, to put a hold on the court’s judgment and be granted leave to file a defense as the second respondent to the petition.
Subsequently, the case was adjourned to January 9, 2024, to allow Benedict Kofitse, representing Mr. Amewu, to present his motion to halt the ruling.
However, events took another twist in court.
Mr. Tsikata, the lawyer for the petitioners, filed an application on notice to withdraw the initial motion filed for judgment based on admissions made by the EC.
In response, the court dismissed Mr. Amewu’s motion to stay the judgment, which had not yet been presented, and allowed Mr. Tsikata to move his application for leave to withdraw the motion for judgment based on the admissions of the EC.
Mr. Tsikata drew the court’s attention to the absence of the EC’s lawyer, Sekyi Boampong, who had been involved in an accident, and urged the court to adjourn to a favourable date.
Despite his desire and that of his clients for an expedited trial, Mr. Tsikata thought justice would not be done if his latest application was heard in the absence of the lawyer for the EC (first respondent) who suffered an accident.
Both lawyers for the petitioners and Mr. Amewu urged the court to adjourn to allow the EC, the first respondent, to be present when the case proceeds.
Initially, Justice Acheampong insisted on Mr. Tsikata moving his motion in the absence of the EC, as the EC had initially opposed the motion that Mr. Tsikata sought to withdraw and also in the interest of an expeditious adjudication of the matter.
However, Mr. Tsikata argued that it was proper to have the EC present when the application was moved.
Ultimately, Justice Acheampong yielded and adjourned the hearing to January 19, 2024, to consider Mr. Tsikata’s application.