The Supreme Court has endorsed the human rights violation of 13 communities in the Hohoe constituency who were prevented from voting for their parliamentary representative in the Eighth Parliament of the Fourth Republic as the court quashed a High Court injunction that challenged the contentious disenfranchisement.
The people of Santrokofi, Akpafu, Lolobi and Likpe (SALL) alongside the opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC) had pursued an injunction against John Peter Amewu of the governing New Patriotic Party (NPP) from holding himself up as the MP-Elect for the Hohoe after he had won through the Electoral Commission’s (EC)’s deliberate marginalization during the December 7, general elections.
The SALL people were made to vote for the presidential candidates but were disallowed from voting for any parliamentary candidate.
However, according to a panel of five Supreme Court judges presided over by Justice Yaw Apau, the case in which four persons from Santrokofi, Akpafu, Lolobi and Likpe are demanding to be allowed vote before their MP can be determined, is an election petition and that high Courts do not have jurisdiction over election petitions.
As a result, John Peter Amewu has been cleared for swearing-in on Thursday as MP of Hohoe even though almost half of his constituents were not allowed to vote in the December 2020 election by the Electoral Commission.
Nobody knows what is to become of the plight of the people of the so-called SALL area who now live in a constituency represented by a man they did not vote for.
According to the Supreme Court, the case that the victims, led by Prof. Margaret Kweku the NDC’s Parliamentary Candidate for Hohoe, had filed at the High Court was an election petition even though the Ho High Court had adjudicated it as a human rights case.
Justice Yaw Apau, on behalf of his panel actually accused the applicants who became respondents of trickery, saying they had clothed an election petition in a thin veil of a claim that it was a human rights issue.
He also said the injunction granted by the High Court victimized Amewu who only ran for election and was not the Electoral Commission, the organizer of the election.
Meanwhile, the apex court denied in part, the Deputy Attorney General Godfred Yeboah Dame’s plea for an order of prohibition against the Ho High Court’s continual hearing of the matter.
According to the judgment, it is for the trial court to determine whether the right to vote is a fundamental human right accruing to the interested parties or not.
The Court also declined to pronounce on the constitutionality of C.I. 128 as contended by lawyer for the SALL residents, Tsatsu Tsikata, saying the parties did not invoke its jurisdiction to determine the constitutionality or otherwise of the constitutional instrument.
Mr. Dame, who is seeking to have the Supreme Court overturn an injunction by the Ho High Court against John Peter Amewu’s election as MP for Hohoe played a wild card in court today, saying that the disenfranchised people of Santrokofi, Akpafu, Lolobi and Likpe should have voted in Buem, rather than Hohoe.
The move is a smart attempt to dump the over 17,000 voters of SALL whose votes, it is widely believed, would have led to the election of Margaret Kweku as MP for Hohoe, into Buem which is an NDC stronghold also.