The governing New Patriotic Party (NPP) has filed an election petition at the Tamale High Court challenging the eligibility of the newly sworn in National Democratic Congress (NDC) Member of Parliament for Savelugu in the northern region, Alhaji Abdulai Jacob Iddriss.
The Petitioner, Muhamed Abdul-Samed Gunu, NPP 2020 Parliamentary Candidate for Savelugu is asserting that the December 7 election was characterised by widespread electoral malpractices and irregularities.
He is therefore praying that the court declares as null and void, the declaration made by the Electoral Commission (EC) that the NDC Candidate won the election.
The petitioner maintained the gross malpractices substantially and materially affected the results of the election as declared by the EC in favour of the NDC Candidate.
Lawyer Sylvester Isang, Counsel for the Petitioner in an exclusive interview with THE CUSTODIAN said his client is dissatisfied with the election outcome because of serious fraud surrounding most of the results in various polling stations.
He mentioned one classical example in which an EC Presiding Officer voted in one of the polling centres he was not registered to cast his ballot.
“If you have an EC official who is not registered at a particular polling station to vote and he did not transfer his vote to that polling station, what on earth would make that officer cast a vote” he queried.
The lawyer added that there were instances of over voting in not less than eight polling stations where the declared votes exceed the number of ballot papers issued.
“So obviously, our contention is that if you were to take away the votes of the polling stations in which there was fraud or widespread irregularities, obviously the 1st Respondent would not have declared the NDC candidate as the winner of the 7 December polls for the Savelugu constituency. It would have been the petitioner who would have been the winner of the election” he indicated
The Lawyer stated that Article 9(9) of the constitution and section 16 of the legislation of the People Law gives right to his client to petition the High Court to challenge the propriety of the election.
Reliefs being sought by petitioner
The petitioner is asking the court to declare that, the NDC candidate on account of votes that ought to have been validly declared, is not the validly elected Member of Parliament for the Savelugu constituency and that, Muhammed Abdul Samed Gunu on account of votes that ought to have been validly declared is rather validly elected as Member of Parliament for the Savelugu constituency pursuant to the Parliamentary Election held on 7 December, 2020.
The petitioner is further requesting the court to declare that the votes recorded at the affected polling stations of the 2020 Savelugu Parliamentary elections where malpractices and irregularities occurred infringed the constitutional and statutory provisions and regulations governing the conduct of parliamentary elections are null, void and of no legal effect.
The court, he prayed, should also declare that, the whole of the 2020 parliamentary election held in the Savelugu constituency was so fraught and vitiated with violations of the statutory provisions and regulations governing the conduct of the parliamentary election, electoral malpractices and irregularities that same is null, void and of no legal effect; or consequential order(s) as to the court may seem meet.