An Accra High Court has dismissed an injunction suit by the Progressive People’s Party (PPP), that sought to stop the Electoral Commission from collecting filing fees from nominees for the 2016 polls, until it’s substantive matter on the legality of the process used in setting the ‘high’ fees is determined.
The reasons for the dismissal will be made known by the Court on Monday, October 10.
However the substantive matter on the legality of the process used by the EC to set the fees, will be heard on Tuesday, October 11.
The PPP also has a contempt suit against the EC for collecting the filing fee for their Flagbearer, even before the court ruled on the injunction suit.
[contextly_sidebar id=”EW3K1Qn1Iz7RlvRfCfwlFIVogijjChjb”]The PPP had earlier told the court that it did not have the required amount of money needed to file nominations for the presidential and parliamentary elections.
The party said the charge of GH¢50,000 fee for presidential nominees and GH¢10,000 for parliamentary nominees was a capricious and arbitrary use of power by the electoral body.
The PPP lawyer, Dennis Ofosu Appiah, in court, further argued that, the said amount being charged by the EC was not stated in the law. He stated that PNDC law 284 requires the Commission to set the amount to be charged in the regulations for the elections. He pointed out that regulations 8 and 45 of the CI 94 failed to state the specific amount to be charged.
He further told the court that, the PPP risked not participating fully in the 2016 elections if the court did not stop the EC from charging the ‘exorbitant’ amount.
The PPP is expected to cough up an amount of GHc 2.8 million as filing fees for both the presidential and all of its 275 constituencies across the country.
But the lawyer for the EC, Thaddeus Sori,who disagreed with the motion, said the law allows the EC to determine the fee.
He said if the PPP cannot pay the amount, they should have applied for an injunction preventing the EC from taking money from PPP, and not all parties since they cannot assume that all other parties cannot pay.
The PPP filed an interlocutory injunction at the High Court on September 19 seeking to restrain the EC from going ahead with the receipt of filing fees from presidential and parliamentary candidates a day before the date scheduled for filing.
This injunction prevented the EC from receiving the filing fees of the various parliamentary and presidential hopefuls though it bizarrely accepted the filing fee of the PPP flagberer, Dr. Papa Kwesi Nduom, who was represented by the party’s Chairman, Nii Allotey Brew Hammond.
The PPP, among other things, was seeking a declaration that Regulation 45 of C.I. 94 is discriminatory, arbitrary, capricious and unreasonable.
The EC opened the nominations earlier in September and pegged the filing fees for presidential hopefuls at GHc 50,000 and that of parliamentary nominees at GHc 10,000.
Some aggrieved parties subsequently asked the EC to review the amount describing it as “exorbitant.”
By: Fred Djabanor/citifmonline.com/Ghana