The Judicial Board of Commonwealth Hall of the University of Ghana has ordered the Junior Common Room Electoral Commission to use the manual system of voting in the upcoming elections.
The Electoral Commission intended to organize the elections which had been scheduled for October 15 using the electronic system of voting. Members of the JCR were expected to vote for Electoral Commissioner and Deputy Commissioners.
Okyere Henry and Joshua Tandoh, both residents of the Hall filed a writ at the Judicial Board making the following request
1. An interpretation of article 19(4)(IV),21(10)(13) of the Commonwealth Hall Constitution in as far as it relates to the use of ballot papers and boxes for JCR elections
2. An enforcement of article 19(4)(iv)(v) and 21(10)(13) Commonwealth Hall Constitution, article 29(2) of the SRC Constitution and article 49 of the 1992 constitution of Ghana to ensure that the Electoral Commission issue a constitution instrument to govern the election and ballot papers are used in the conduct of JCR elections.
3. An order of prohibition preventing the Electoral Commission from using an electronic system of voting to conduct the upcoming JCR election scheduled for the 15th of October, 2015.
4. Legal fees expended in the suit
5. General orders as the court deem fit.
The writ was issued by Barnabas Abisa and Asare Kwabena Amponsah. The defendants in the case were the Electoral Commission Commonwealth Hall and the Legal Advisor (Emmanuel Kwame Twum) of the Hall.
The Judicial Board presided over by Mettle Nunoo Jsc, with Gafaru Ali and Offei Eugene as members of the bench, unanimously ruled that the Commission refrains from organizing the elections using the electronic system of voting.
Justice Gafaru Ali had this to say in his ruling
“In holding as I have in this matter, I am guided solely by the learning of the law, my faith and believe in the principles underlying democratic societies including the rule of law and constitutional sovereignty as well as my unimpeachable fidelity to Commonwealth Hall…,. I therefore grant an order of perpetual injunction to restrain the Electoral Commission of Commonwealth Hall, its officers, agents and assigns from using electronic system of voting. I make no order as to cost.”
“I hereby grant the plaintiffs the first claim, deny the second but substitute an order of prohibition with that of perpetual Injunction restraining the EC, from proceeding with the conduct of Electoral Elections and subsequent elections with an electronic Voting system”- Justice Offei Eugene
Presiding Justice, Mettle Nunoo in his brief ruling sided with his colleagues.
Board on Conduct of JCR President
The Bench had this to say on the conduct of the Junior Common Room President, Kofi Adutwum who is reported to have stormed the Board’s hearing and hurled insults at the Justices.
“But of the wilful contumacy displayed by the JCR President of the Hall in open court, contrived to deride and poor scorn and opprobrium on this Board, I say nothing about this as it has already been masterfully reported by the CJ of the hall in his report to the JCR on the matter”.
Elections is therefore expected to come off with the manual system of voting.