The Supreme Court has ruled that the High Court hearing the case involving Member of Parliament for Klottey Korle, Nii Armah Ashitey and Dr. Zanetor Rawlings has no jurisdiction over it.
The court has therefore decided to refer the case onto itself in order to address the contentious issue about when a person is qualified to contest as a Member of Parliament, TV3’s Godfred Tanam.
Dr Zanetor Rawlings, the National Democratic Congress’ parliamentary nominee for Klottey Korle Constituency, filed an application at the Supreme Court, challenging the capacity of an Accra High Court to hear a case concerning her candidature.
The nominee was seeking for an order of prohibition directed at the trial judge, Mr Justice Kwaku T. Ackah Boafo from further hearing the matter.
Dr Zanetor’s lawyer, Godwin Tamakloe, had argued the trial judge erred in law when he wrongfully assumed the jurisdictional role to interpreter Article 94 (1) (a) of the 1992 Constitution.
Nii Armah Ashietey the incumbent Member of Parliament who lost to Dr Rawlings last year had gone to court challenging his defeat in the November 11, 2015, parliamentary primary, citing some constitutional breaches.
He initiated the high court action against her on January 19, 2016 challenging Zanetor’s eligibility to contest the primary on the ticket of the NDC.
The writ issued by Nii Armah Ashietey was seeking the following reliefs from the high court:
a. A declaration that the decision by the NDC to allow Dr.Zanetor Rawlings to contest the parliamentary primaries in the KlotteyKorle constituency on its ticket when she was not a registered voter within the meaning of Article 94(1)(a) of the 1992 constitution AT THE TIME OF THE SAID CONTEST violates the constitution and the internal regulations governing the conduct of parliamentary primaries of the NDC and same is illegal and of no effect.
b. A declaration that Dr.Zanetor Rawlings’ election as a parliamentary candidate elect for the Klottey Korle constituency is null and void and is of no effect as same violates the constitution of the NDC and the rules governing the conduct of the 2015 parliamentary primaries.
c. An order of the court directed at the NDC for the re-run of the parliamentary primaries in the Klottey Korle constituency between the plaintiffs in accordance with its constitution and the regulations governing the conduct of the 2015 parliamentary primaries within one week of the annulment of Dr. Zanetor’s election
d. Any other Order(s) as the court may deem it
e. Cost including legal fees.
However, lawyers for Dr. Zanetor Rawlings believe the High Court cannot hear the matter as it is rather the Supreme Court that has the jurisdiction to hear such case.
Zanetor therefore sought a restraining order to stop the trial judge Justice Kwaku T. Ackah Boafo from hearing the case at the High Court.
The Supreme Court on Thursday, May 19 gave it ruling in favour of Dr. Zanetor Rawlings in a four : one decision.
This means the case would be moved from the High Court to the Supreme Court, thereby putting on hold the High Court hearing.
Meanwhile, Zanetor has taken advantage of the just ended limited voter’s registration exercise and registered as a voter in the Klottey Korle constituency.