The Progressive People’s Party (PPP) has cited the Chairperson of Ghana’s Electoral Commission (EC), Madam Charlotte Osei for contempt.
The suit follows the EC’s decision to accept the PPP’s filing fee last week, despite an interlocutory injunction secured by the latter.
The PPP believes the decision by Charlotte Osei to accept its filing fee is unlawful.
A copy of the writ sighted by Citi News said “take notice that this Honourable court shall be moved by lawyers of the applicant, Yaw Amoah-Owusu , praying the Honourable court for an order of Committal of you Mrs Charlotte Ama Osei, Chairman of the Electoral Commission of the Republic of Ghana, for defying the substance of the motion on Notice of an order pending before this Honourable court and on the basis of the Affidavit in support to this motion and for any orders the Honourable court may deem fit.”
The PPP filed a suit at the High Court early this month, seeking an interlocutory injunction to prevent the Commission from receiving the nominations in protest against what they described as “high” filing fees set by the EC for aspirants.
According to the Chairman of the PPP, Allotey Brew Hammond, although they asked the Commission to return the bank draft after the presentation on Friday, the EC Chair, refused to hand it back to them.
Brew Allotey Hammond
“We have started the motion of talking to our lawyers to get the processes of filing for contempt because our relief was to have the EC not to accept any filing fee and since they have accepted our filing fee, they are in contempt of the injunction,” Mr Brew Hammond told Citi News.
Reacting to claims the PPP deliberately presented their filing fee to the EC as a trap and that the PPP is also in contempt for presenting the fee, the party Chairman said, “We will leave it to the judges to tell us if offering and accepting are the same thing. Even if we trapped them [EC], we made the effort to remind the Commission that they were not supposed to accept but they [EC] objected.” ‘
EC accepts filing fees’
In an interesting twist last week, the Commission accepted the filing fee of the PPP flagbearer despite an interlocutory injunction placed on the process by the same party.
Charlotte Osei justifies receipt of PPP’s filing fee despite suit
But Charlotte Osei, defended the decision of the election management body to accept the filing fee of the PPP, saying the Commission accepted the filing fee because they assumed the party was no longer interested pursuing the case in court.
“By presenting it; I thought they had withdrawn the case, that was the impression,” she said.
‘We didn’t trick EC’
The Director of Operations for the PPP, Nana Ofori Owusu, also stated that the party had no intention of tricking the Electoral Commission.
Speaking on Citi FM’s news analysis programme, The Big Issue, Nana Owusu said by presenting their nomination forms with the filing fees, the PPP was only doing what was required by law.
PPP could face contempt over filing fee submission’
Meanwhile, legal practitioner, John Ndebugri, has said the PPP risks being cited for contempt of court for presenting its filing fee to the Electoral Commission (EC), despite being the very entity to place an injunction on the process.
The PPP is expected to hold a press conference this week to address the turn of events, as they await on the court to hear the substantive matter.