EC faces contempt charges for holding ‘workshop’ despite injunction

Jean Mensa, EC boss being sworn in with others

Ghana’s Electoral Commission could be charged for contempt for holding a training workshop, despite a court injunction.

The alleged workshop for directors and deputy directors of the Commission was held at the City Escape Hotel in the Ningo/Prampram Constituency, according to multiple media reports.

The exercise forms part of the Commission’s preparation towards the compilation of a new voters’ register.

On April 24, the MP for the area Sam George secured an injunction, restraining the Electoral Commission from holding the workshop in his constituency.

The ex-parte injunction, granted by the Tema High Court, took effect from Friday, April, 24 to Monday, April 27, 2020.

“It is hereby ordered that the respondent and all persons claiming through the respondent (EC) refrain from holding the workshop or conference scheduled to take place at the Escape Hotel Prampram from the 24th of April, 2020,” Justice of the High Court, Eugene Nyante Nyadu ruled on Friday.

Despite this ruling, however, the EC reportedly went ahead with the training on Saturday, leaving Mr. George displeased.

Led by the aggrieved MP and some notable members of the opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC), a sizeable number of party faithfuls besieged the premises of hotel.

In an ensuing melee, the party faithfuls threatened to disrupt the meeting despite reporting the EC to the police for flouting an Executive Order. Police were called to the scene to restore calm.

“We didn’t even need a court order to stop what the Electoral Commission is doing; the directive of the President and the Emergency Restriction Law that has been passed clearly guide the police on what should be enforced, so we expected the police to enforce that

“When we came and saw them having the meeting we reported to the matter to the police station and the commander who is supposed to enforce the law has switched his phone off and he is no where to be found; we expect the police to act”, Deputy General Secretary for NDC Peter Boamah Otokunor told reporters, adding that: “The police is protecting the Electoral Commission and so the citizens must enforce the law.”

Visibly angry George was worried about the development. He told reporters that he would consider contempt charges against the EC.

“…That is an option that is available to us. I am having that conversation already with my lawyers,” the MP told reporters.

George also accused President Akufo-Addo of backing the move which he describes as irresponsible.

“The Electoral Commission is doing what they are doing because they have the tacit approval and support of the Flagstaff House. President Akufo-Addo is endorsing the illegality and irresponsibility of the Electoral Commission and this is the man who claims to be a doyen of the rule of law,” he added.

By Jonathan Ofori, Daily Mail GH

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