The flag bearer of the All People’s Congress (APC), Mr Hassan Ayariga, will, on Friday, know whether or not he will be allowed to contest the 2016 presidential poll.
“Deaf and dumb’’
During yesterday’s oral presentation, there was a heated argument between the legal team of the EC and that of Mr Ayariga, with the latter describing the EC as “deaf and dumb”.
Counsel for the APC flag bearer, Mr Maxwell Komla Logan, argued that the EC had failed to reveal the name of the other presidential aspirant whose forms were supposedly endorsed by two of Mr Ayariga’s subscribers.
“Despite our persistent call on the EC to do that, the commission is acting deaf and dumb on that issue,’’ he stated.
Another argument by counsel was that there was no way Mr Ayariga could have known that two of the people who endorsed his forms had also endorsed another candidate’s forms.
“We do not have access to the nomination forms of other candidates,’’ he argued.
Mr Logan also said the EC failed to afford Mr Ayariga the opportunity to amend his nomination forms as required by law when it discovered errors on them.
“That duty is a precondition for the EC before it can exercise its powers of disqualifying candidates,’’ he argued.
At that point, his attention was drawn to the fact that the EC had, indeed, drew Mr Ayariga’s attention to errors made by 30 of his subscribers before the expiry of the nomination period on September 30, 2016.
Mr Logan argued that those errors did not include the ones that led to his client’s disqualification.
Counsel for the EC, Mr Thaddeus Sory, on the other hand, argued that the EC had publicly revealed the name of the other candidate whose forms were endorsed by two of Mr Ayariga’s subscribers.
He also argued that the EC had the obligation to allow people to correct any errors on their nomination forms within the nomination period.
“They were given the opportunity to correct errors on the forms within the nomination period but the error complained about was discovered after the period.
“Even if it is a form of injustice, that is what the law states, and the EC cannot disobey the law and amend it to favour his client,’’ he argued.
He, therefore, called on the court to dismiss the case. He also advised Mr Ayariga to seek legislative reform to C I 94.
“This will allow the nomination period to be extended whenever an error is discovered by the EC after the period had ended,’’ he said.
Mr Ayariga dragged the EC to court after he was disqualified from contesting the upcoming election because, according to the EC, two of the persons who endorsed his presidential nomination forms also endorsed the forms for another presidential aspirant.
He claims the electoral body’s decision to disqualify him is not in “accordance with the law and procedure enshrined in C.I 94”.
He is seeking an order from the court that will compel the EC to accept his “nomination and nomination forms and to include his name on the ballot paper for the 2016 presidential election.’’