Supreme Court Dimisses Ho High Court Order Restraining Amewu

The Supreme Court has unanimously dismissed an order of the Ho High which placed an injunction on the Member of Parliament-elect for Hohoe, Mr. John-Peter Amewu.

The court delivered the verdict after the Attorney-General filed a certiorari application.

The five-member panel on Tuesday unanimously ruled that the Ho High Court had no jurisdiction to grant the two orders.

According to the court, the orders by the court were in the nature of a parliamentary election petition, but the original case which led to the orders was a human rights violation case and therefore the Ho High Court had no jurisdiction.

Consequently, the court quashed all the proceedings on December 23, 2020, during which the Ho High Court, presided over by Justice George Buadi granted those two interim orders.

“The application succeeds basically on the grounds that the applicants adopted the wrong procedure in invoking the jurisdiction of the High court. Applicants ought to have come by petition. Article 33 of the 1992 Constitution is the general rule. Section 18 of the Representation of the People’s Law is specific.

“The application, therefore, succeeds in part. The order granted by the High Court was done without jurisdiction but same cannot be quashed since it is now moot after the 10 days. There is nothing to quash.”

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The Supreme Court, however, declined to prohibit Justice Buadi from hearing the rest of the case which relates to the alleged human rights violations.

The State through a Deputy Attorney General, Godfred Dame, filed a motion at the Supreme Court to fight the injunction placed on Amewu by the Ho High Court.

The injunction was granted after some residents of Santrokofi, Akpafu, Likpe, and Lolobi (SALL) argued that the Electoral Commission’s failure to allow them to vote in the just-ended parliamentary elections amounted to a breach of their rights.

They said, the creation of the Oti Region, coupled with a recent Supreme Court decision and failure of the EC to create a constituency for them, meant they did not vote for a parliamentary candidate in the just-ended election.

It is the case of the state that John Peter Amewu’s victory in the Hohoe parliamentary election was gazetted a day before the residents of SALL went to the High Court to place an injunction on the process.

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The Deputy Attorney General, Godfred Dame further argued that the High Court in exercising its human rights oversight had no jurisdiction to grant the injunction as the SALL residents did not go through the proper procedure.

He further added that the residents of SALL do not belong to the Volta Region where the Hohoe constituency is found therefore cannot challenge the election of the Member of Parliament.

On the other hand, lawyers of the residents of SALL argued that the action by the Electoral Commission to deny their clients from voting in the parliamentary election in Hohoe is a breach of the fundamental human rights, administrative justice and the right to equality before the law.

The lead lawyer, Tsatsu Tsikata also challenged the constitutionality of the C.I. 128 arguing that it was not published on the right date as required by the Constitution.

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