Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Kojo Smith challenges Ablekuma results.

The New Patriotic Party (NPP) parliamentary candidate for Ablekuma-South constituency in the 2008 general elections, Francis Kojo Sackey Smith has filed a motion for an interim injunction to restrain Fritz Baffuor from holding himself as the Member of Parliament (MP) for the area till the determination of the suit.

The case which was called at an Accra Fast Track High Court presided over by Justice Ofori-Atta was adjourned to January 30, 2009 for Mr. Smith to serve the Electoral Commission (EC), the Returning Officer and all respondents a hearing notice.

This was because the court noted that it was only the third respondent, Mr. Baffour, the National Democratic Congress (NDC) candidate, who had officially been served, leaving the other respondents.

Mr. Smith in his petition is seeking among other reliefs, a recount of the ballot, a declaration of the result null and void, a perpetual injunction against Mr. Baffuor from being sworn in as the MP for Ablekuma South, a declaration that the petitioner is the true winner, general damages and cost.

The reliefs are on grounds that the Returning Officer without due regard to the law prevented him from being present at the recounting of the ballots and this enabled the officer to falsify the record to reflect different sets of figures at the polling stations depriving him of his hard fought victory.

Mr. Smith in his statement of claim stated that on December 7, 2008 the EC organized as required by law the 2008 Presidential and Parliamentary Elections in 140 polling stations in the Ablekuma-South constituency. The polling stations results according to him showed that he had obtained more than 56,000 votes while his opponent obtained 50,000 votes, however mr. Bffuor was declared the winner with 56,152 votes while he had 50,879 votes by the EC.

The petitioner contended that Mr. Baffuor never obtained the said figure and that the certified and published results were wrong and fraudulent.

According to him, a document obtained unofficially from the EC showed divergent figures which gave a catalogue of irregularities and therefore has given him the grounds to challenge the certified results.

Statement of poll and declaration of results sheets he said clearly showed that despite the fraudulent practices and irregularities in the election, he obtained more votes than Mr. Baffuor.

The applicant revealing how these conflicting results occurred stated that late in the night of December 7, 2008 after the counting of Gbegbe Polling Station votes, he and his agents went to the collation centre at Mamprobi but the Returning Officer instructed the security agents to refuse them entry into the collation centre.

Mr. Smith said he was locked out until 5:15 a.m on December 8, 2008 and so he went to report the conduct of the officer to the Dansoman Police but when he returned to the centre at 7:45 the officer told him that he had completed the collation and was not in the position to do a fresh collation in his presence.

He said despite several protests, the EC representative were conspicuously prevented from being present at the counting and some of the result slips were snatched from them by Mr. Baffuor's supporters who heckled his (Mr. Smith's) supporters.

Mr. Smith said he immediately protested and requested for a recount but it was declined amidst commotion and threat from his opponent's supporters.

This he said made him to lodge a formal complaint at the District Office of the EC.

Mr. Baffour in his affidavit in opposition stated that he has already been sworn in as the MP for the constituency and that if the application which is already late is granted would cause serious hardship to him and the whole constituency because there would be no representative in parliament pending the hearing of the matter.


Source: Daily Guide.

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