THE Sunyani High Court in the Brong Ahafo Region, presided over by Mr Justice Francis Kwabena Opoku, has adjourned sine die (indefinitely) the case in which the New Patriotic Party (NPP) parliamentary candidate for the Asutifi South Constituency, Mr Yiadom Boakye-Boateng, is challenging the parliamentary election results in the constituency.
When the case was called for hearing yesterday, the Judge informed the court that he had received notice that the Electoral Commission (EC) had filed an appeal and a stay of proceedings at a Court of Appeal against an earlier ruling by his court.
Mr Opoku had on January 12, 2009 overruled a preliminary objection application raised by the respondent in the case in which he had filed a ‘motion on notice for interim injunction’ for the re-collation of the parliamentary results in the constituency.
The presiding judge said he only gave ruling on the preliminary objection raised by the responding and therefore could not fathom the basis on which the EC filed an appeal and a stay of proceedings at the Court of Appeal pending his reasons for the ruling.
He therefore adjourned the case until further notice and said he would give the reasons on his ruling on January 30.
Mr Opoku also said no date had also been fixed for the motion to be heard by the Court of Appeal and added that he could not show disrespect to the Court of Appeal by going ahead with the case.
Lead counsels for plaintiff and respondent, Captain Nkrabeah Effah–Dartey (retd) and Mr Chris Ackumey announced to the court that they were yet to be served with the suits for the appeal and stay of proceedings.
They had however agreed that the case should be adjourned sine die to enable them pursue it at the Appeal Court.
The Supervising High Court Judge ,Mr Justice Opoku, had fixed yesterday for the actual commencement of the case in agreement with the counsel for the plaintiff and respondent.
There was heavy police presence at the court premises yesterday and therefore, there was no sign of supporters of the NDC and NPP but the courtroom was filled to capacity with some leading members of both parties and regional executives.
In the motion, the Plaintiff said, “Please take notice that Messrs Asomah-Cheremeh & Co. Counsel for and on behalf of the Petitioner/Applicant herein will move this Honourable Court for an order restraining the 1st and 3rd Respondents herein from declaring the Parliamentary election held in the Asutifi South Constituency on the 7th day of December, 2008 as upon the grounds set out in the accompanying affidavit. And for such further order(s) as the Honourable Court may deem fit to make”.
In his 17-point petition, accompanied by an affidavit, the NPP candidate contended among other issues that, “it is clear that the results of the Constituency had been tampered with and that fairness cannot be achieved in this circumstances and for that matter do crave the indulgence of the Honourable Court to investigate and take a firm decision on it either to discount two ballot boxes and declare the winner or the entire parliamentary result of the constituency be annulled and fresh election for the parliamentary held”
Subsequent to the motion, Mr Boakye-Boateng, who contested the election with Alhaji Collins Dauda of the National Democratic Congress (NDC) and the incumbent Member of Parliamentary (MP) for the area, and Mr George Okyere, the Democratic People’s Party (DPP) candidate, has observed that the parliamentary election in the Asutifi Constituency was characterised by some corrupt practices and, therefore, prayed the court to investigate it.
Meanwhile the court has also adjourned the case in which the NPP parliamentary candidates for Tain and Kintampo South, Messrs Joe Danquah and Adjei Duffuor were challenging the election results in the respective constituencies in the Brong Ahafo Region for hearing on January 30, 2009 to enable the respondents in the case to be properly served with the suit.