The Supreme Court has dismissed an application by civil society organizations IMANI Ghana and three others seeking leave to file briefs to assist the court in its decision in the ongoing multiple suits against the decision of the Electoral Commission (EC) to compile a new voters register.
The applicants had filed an amicus application as friends of the court and were intending to offer legal assistance to the court as it gets ready to give its judgment in the matter.
The Seven-member panel presided over by the Chief Justice, Justice Anin Yeboah and assisted by Justices Jones Dotse, Paul Baffoe-Bonnie, Sule Gbadegbe, Samuel Marful-Sau, Nene Amegatcher and Prof. Nii Ashie Kotei, dismissed the application, saying it is not supported by law.
The Supreme Court was set to hear a consolidated case of private citizen Mark Takyi-Banson and the National Democratic Congress (NDC) challenging the decision of the EC to compile a new register of voters for the 2020 Presidential and Parliamentary elections.
The cases are seeking the court to block the EC form going ahead to compile a new register as it had already exhausted that mandate under Article 45(a) of the Constitution and can now only revise the old register.
The plaintiffs are also seeking the court to order the EC not to exclude the old voter ID cards as basis for identification.
The writ filed by Takyi-Banson is also seeking the court to order the EC to include the birth certificate as basis for identification.
The court had set June 23, 2020, to give its judgment in the matter but had to adjourn it because of the writ filed by Takyi-Banson and scheduled hearing for today.
IMANI Centre for Policy Advocacy, Conservative Policy Research Centre, Alliance For Social Equity and Public Accountability and Institute For Liberty and Policy Innovation filed an application seeking leave to file briefs to assist the court.
Their lawyer, moved the motion and told the court that their brief was in respect of the case filed by private citizen, Mark Takyi-BAnson and not the one filed by the National Democratic Congress (NDC) although the two cases had been consolidated.
One of the panel members, Justice Nene Amegatcher then drew the attention of the lawyer that the first case was filed as far back as March this year and asked why it took the applicants so long to file for leave.
Another judge, Justice Paul Baffoe-Bonnie also drew the attention of the lawyer to the fact that the relief being sought in both cases was essentially the same and wondered why the applicant would be interested in filing briefs in respect of one and not both.
But the lawyer said he did not read the writs of the cases but instead he only read the supporting affidavits.
The Chief Justice, Justice Anin Yeboah then drew his attention that an affidavit is not the same as the writ as the affidavit does not disclose the reliefs sought in a case.
Justice Baffoe-Bonnie then concluded that the reliefs IMANI and the others were intending to offer the court were essentially in support of one of the parties in the case, adding that if the lawyer had read the reliefs he would have just approached that party and offer them whatever he had.
He added that the applicants cannot say they were coming as a friend of the court because they have shown that they were friends of a particular party in the matter.
The court dismissed the application as not supported by law.
Meanwhile, the Supreme Court will tomorrow give its judgment in the case challenging the compilation of a new register scheduled for June 30, 2020.