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A resident of Afienya, Precious Ayitah, files injunction against EC limited registration exercise

Precious Ayitah says cannot afford the cost of moving from my residence at Otsebleku to the EC district office at Prampram to register

A resident of Otsebleku, near Afienya in the Greater Accra Region, Precious Ayitah, has filed an application at the High Court seeking to injunction the Electoral Commission (EC) of Ghana from going ahead with its planned limited voter registration exercise expected to commence on Tuesday 12 September 2023.

In her originating motion filed on notice today Friday 8 September 2023, the applicant indicates that she resides at Otsebleku, near Afienya in the Greater Accra Region of the Republic of Ghana, and that is about Forty-four point three kilometres (44.3 km) from the district office of the Electoral Commission in Prampram using the Accra-Aflao Road and about Thirty-seven point five kilometres (37.3 km) using the Akosombo-Accra Road.

“I cannot afford the cost of moving from my residence at Otsebleku to the EC district office at Prampram to take part in the limited voter registration exercise and that the limited registration centre designated in my electoral area will be closer in proximity to my residence” the applicant, Ayitah Precious stated in her motion.

“That the decision of the EC to restrict the limited registration exercise to its district offices, instead of opening up the registration exercise to the already existing electoral areas that are more accessible to me amounts to a suppression and a breach of my right to vote” the applicant further stated in her supporting documents filed at the court.

Reliefs sought

To this end, Precious Ayitah is asking the court for seven reliefs. First, she is asking for “a declaration that the decision of the EC to restrict the limited voter registration exercise to its 268-district office is unlawful and a violation of the Applicant’s fundamental human rights and freedoms guaranteed under Articles 23, 33, 42, 45(E), 46, 296, and 140 of the 1992 Constitution”.

Second, “an order directed at the EC to decentralize and expand the upcoming limited voter registration exercise to make it easy for the Applicant to be registered onto the electoral roll; and third, “an order for interlocutory injunction restraining the EC, its agents, workmen and assigns from restricting the limited voter registration exercise to its District offices”.

Fourth, “an order for perpetual injunction restraining the EC, its agents, workmen and assigns from restricting the limited voter registration exercise to its District offices and lastly “costs including legal fees.

District level elections

Chairperson of the Electoral Commission, Mrs Jean Mensa on 17 August 2023, announced at a press briefing in Accra, dubbed “Let the Citizen Know,” that it would commence a registration exercise for eligible Ghanaians who turned 18 years old and other eligible voters who could not register after the 2020 registration exercise to register on Tuesday, September 12, 2023.  

The Chairperson of the EC also indicated that the registration exercise would end on Monday, October 2, 2023 and it would be held at all the 268 district offices of the Electoral Commission across the country.

The district level elections for which the limited registration was being organised would be held on Tuesday 19 December 2023 and it would take place in all the 6,272 electoral areas in all the districts in the country except the Nkoranza North and Nkoranza South districts in the Bono Region which will be held in 2025.

First sitting

A copy of the suit (numbered E12/358/2023) filed at the registry of the high court indicated that the case will first be heard on Monday 16 October 2023. The applicant is represented by lawyer Nii Kpakpo Samoa Addo.

Reporting by Wilberforce Asare in Accra

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