Minister of Information, Kojo Oppong Nkrumah says the Supreme Court’s order to the EC in the voters’ register case is a true definition of fair hearing.
The apex court on Thursday, June 4, 2020, directed the Electoral Commission to furnish it with the legal basis for excluding the current voters’ ID card from the list of eligibility documents for the compilation of the new voters roll.
The ruling emanates from a case filed by the National Democratic Congress (NDC) in March 2020 when it sued the Electoral Commission over attempts to compile a new register for the 2020 presidential and parliamentary elections.
The NDC argued that the EC lacks the power to proceed with such plans because it can “compile a register of voters only once, and thereafter revise it periodically, as may be determined by law.”
While praising the professional nature of the ruling, Mr. Oppong Nkrumah was quick to add that it in no way suggests how the final judgement will be determined.
Speaking in an interview in Parliament House today, Thursday, June 4, 2020, the Ofoase-Ayirebi legislator said the directive to the EC was procedural and consistent with court processes.
“The basic principle in law called ‘audi alteram partem,’ says you cannot pronounce judgement on a matter without hearing from the other side. So if the Supreme Court is going to make a determination on an application that has been made about something that the Electoral Commission is doing, it only stands to reason that they will request to hear from the EC so that they are informed before they come to a certain ruling or judgment and I think anybody who knows how the legal system works in this country will actually appreciate that this is how the Supreme Court has gone by such issues.”
“I don’t know why anyone would jubilate over that and as I have explained, you cannot come to a judgement on a matter without hearing from the other side. So if party A goes to the Supreme Court that party B is doing something which he considers untoward, the Supreme Court will have to hear from party B and therefore will have to request party B to address it properly whether on legal or public policy grounds,” he said.