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Joe Ghartey files appeal against Sekondi high court’s ruling

Frank Davies, counsel for Joe Ghartey, the MP for Essikado-Ketan, has filed an appeal at the Court of Appeal in Cape Coast to reverse a decision of the high court which ignored the fact that the parliamentary election petition was signed by a lawyer instead of the petitioner.

Professor Dr Grace Ayensu-Danquah, the petitioner, had gone to the high court in Sekondi to order the second respondent, the Electoral Commission of Ghana, to annul the results and produce the original pink sheets for a recount of votes cast in the December 2020 parliamentary polls.

However, the petition that the lawyer filed for the petitioner was signed by the lawyer and not the petitioner, and this arrangement though opposed by the first respondent, Joe Ghartey, was upheld by the court, hence the legal appeal.

Counsel for the first respondent/appellant said the trial judge likened a parliamentary election petition to a writ of summons or a divorce petition, given that the commencement of proceedings by a writ of summons and a divorce petition is governed by CI47, a piece of subsidiary legislation.

The first respondent/appellant said the trial judge erred in law when he held that a lawyer can sign a parliamentary election petition within the meaning of Section 17 of PNDC Law 284.

Further grounds

The appellant said there were further grounds to be filed upon receipt of the record of appeal.

In seeking relief from the court, the first respondent /appellant called for the ruling by the high court in Sekondi on 23 March 2021, dismissing the respondent’s/appellant’s motion for an order dismissing the petition pursuant to Order 11 R 18(1)(d) of CI 47 and under the inherent jurisdiction of the high court, to be set aside or reversed.

Counsel for the petitioner, David Kwadzo Ametefe, argued against the dismissal of the application. The court, presided over by Justice Dr Richmond Osei Hwere, agreed with him.

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