A law lecturer at the Ghana Institute of Management and Public Administration (GIMPA) Dr. Rainer Akumperigya, passing preliminary comments on his Facebook wall noted that the Supreme Court’s refusal for the inspection documents of the Electoral Commission appears as though the electoral body is a private entity.
He explained that “these pink sheets are already public documents anyway as posted at every polling station by the EC itself and from which copies were given to political parties”.
Dr. Rainer in his explanation added that “the true enquiry of the Petition is whether or not the various Presidential declarations made by the EC is the cumulative outcome of those pink sheets. This enquiry necessarily implies that the original pink sheets must resemble in every sense, the copies which the political parties are in possession of. Without the original pink sheets, it becomes near impossible to make the comparisons between originals and the copies and to ascertain to truth”.
He stressed “today’s application for inspection of documents sought nothing but a request for the EC to make available to the Petitioner what it has in its possession. By reason of its constitutional mandate, only the EC is in possession of the original pink sheets. With or without this Presidential Petition, the EC is mandated by law to make these pink sheets public anyway”.
He then noted that “this nation enacted the Right to Information Law (RTI ACT) to make institutions transparent and accountable to citizens. The need for transparency is heightened and becomes more crucial when the question is whether executive authority and the will of the people is properly located in a person/ party. The decision of the SC today, in refusing to allow inspection of EC documents, is to treat the EC as if it is a private entity! It is not. I fail to see how the EC, in performing its Public duty can be prejudiced by disclosing documents it must disclose anyway”.
Dr. Rainer emphasized that “today’s decision, unfortunately, reflects some inaccurate public commentary which seeks to say that the Petitioner has more burden on its hands to produce documents to prove its case,( which is correct) and the EC necessarily stands absolved if the Petitioner fails in that regard ( which is wrong). This inaccurate commentary discounts two (2) crucial elements” saying “even if the Petitioner is lousy or indolent in regards to its watchdog role as a key interested party in the 2020 elections, we MUST STILL BE INTERESTED IN KNOWING WHETHER THE EC DID ITS CONSTITUTIONAL DUTY WELL as a public body and whether it presented us with the right winner. This demand of this public duty of the EC has absolutely nothing to do with the Petitioner. Otherwise, the unfortunate proposition will be that everytime an election is not challenged and there is no Petitioner, the EC would be deemed to have performed its duty in accordance with law even if infact it did not”.
Secondly, ” In the present need to prove its case, the Petitioner is presented with a situation where it cannot do so without the originals from the EC because the Petitioner’s case is primarily a disputation of maths which has the effect of making comparisons between copies and originals inevitable” .
He concluded by stating emphatically that “this is fatal, yet again. And I disagree with the legal reasoning of the court “.
Filed By Agaatorne Douglas Asaah / awakenewsroom.com