Lawyer Tsatsu Tsikata suffers another defeat

Veteran lawyer Tsatsu Tsikata has once again been slapped with a 7-0 defeat by the Supreme Court following several similar losses, he suffered during the 2020 presidential election petition hearing.

A seven-member panel of Justices of the Apex Court yesterday unanimously dismissed an application Mr Tsikata filed for a review of the court’s decision on the injunction granted by a High Court in Ho stopping the gazetting of John Peter Amewu as the Member of Parliament for Hohoe in the Volta Region.

Presided by Justice Yaw Appau, the seven-member panel reviewed the decision of the original panel of five-member, stating that no errors of law were committed by the Justices to merit setting aside the decision.

The original five-member panel was presided over by Justice Yaw Appau, with Justices Samuel K. Marful-Sau, Gertrude Torkornoo, Clemence Honyenuga, and Issifu Omoro Tanko.

However, Justice Honyenuga was later replaced by Justice Lovelace Avril Johnson with Justices Yonny Kulendi and Prof Henrietta Mensa-Bonsu added to constitute the seven-member panel.

The court said its reasons for the judgment will be given later.

Ho High court

It would be recalled that some residents of Santrokofi, Akpafu, Likpe, and Lolobi (SALL) filed a case at a Ho High Court challenging the legitimacy of John Peter Amewu’s election as Hohoe MP-elect.

Their case was based on the fact that their respective areas did not vote in the parliamentary elections hence their rights have been breached.

In hearing the case, the Court granted an injunction against the gazetting of Mr. Amewu of MP.

However, then Deputy Attorney-General and Minister for Justice, Godfred Yeboah Dame who is now the Attorney-General filed an application at the Supreme Court, urging it to restrain the Ho High Court from hearing the matter.

The Supreme Court subsequently ruled that the alleged breach of the rights of SALL residents was not caused by Mr. Amewu and therefore any such challenge must be done through an election petition and not a human rights action at the High Court.

The plaintiffs after the ruling filed for the review application through their lawyer, Mr Tsikata but the court affirmed its earlier decision.

The court had indicated that Mr. Amewu although a beneficiary, had not caused or contributed to the denial of their right to vote as had been argued.

It was later noted that residents of SALL should have voted in the Buem Constituency and not in Hohoe following the creation of the Oti Region.

Legal arguments

Lawyer Tsikata who represented the residents of SALL in his review application at the last hearing, argued that the apex court fundamentally erred when it quashed the decision of the Ho High Court, which granted an injunction to the inhabitants of the areas in dispute.

He averred that the Court breached the fundamental human rights of the residents when it quashed the order High Court, which placed injunction on the EC from presenting Mr Amewu as MP-elect for Hohoe.

However, a Chief State Attorney, Mrs Grace Ewool who opposed the application on the other hand, contented that the review application raised no new and important issues to warrant the grant of the review application.

Mr Godfred  Yeboah Dame, Attorney-General and Minister for Justice was yesterday  present at the Supreme Court when the judgment was delivered.

Background

On January 5, 2021 this year, a five-member panel of the court presided over by Mr Yaw Appau in a unanimous decision, held that the Ho High court erred in granting the order since it did not have the jurisdiction to do so.

The Court held that while the High Court’s decision was about election petition, the original case, which invoked the jurisdiction of the Court was about human rights’ violations.

According to the apex court, it was therefore strange the High Court’s orders were about Amewu’s election rather than the denial of the right of the people of SALL to vote.

It therefore annulled all the proceedings of the Court’s sitting by Justice George Buadi, which granted the injunction freezing the gazetting of Mr Amewu.

SOURCEBy thecustodianghonline.com/ Kyei Boateng
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