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You can run but you cannot hide – EC warned over contempt of court



Lawyers of the private citizen who secured an injunction at the Accra High Court against the limited voter registration exercise by the Electoral Commission, Ghana (EC) say they will not be deterred by the conduct of the Chair, Jean Adukwei Mensa.

Lead counsel Nii Kpakpo Samoa Addo says they will ensure that the Commission is served with the latest suit of contempt of court.

This comes after attempts to serve the EC proved futile following the denial of the bailiff entry to the headquarters of the elections-management body on Thursday, September 14.

“As you are aware, the rules of court requires that we should attempt a minimum of three times to serve the person,” lawyer Samoa Addo told host Alfred Ocansey on TV3‘s Ghana Tonight later in the day.

“So we have exhausted that minimum requirement today which now entitles us to go back to the court and inform the court that clearly Madam Jean Mensa and her two deputies are not only evading service, but they are obstructing service.”

He said the commencement document and the injunction were served on the EC and wondering why the commissioners are evading the concomitant suit.

“They received it. Why is it that for the contempt because they know what they are doing is illegal and because they know that if they are served with the contempt, there will be no excuse for them when they are called before the court to explain why they should not be jailed, they are evading the service?

“But we can assure her that she can run but she cannot hide. The rules of court anticipate such misbehaviour.”

Already, the limited voter registration has begun in all 268 districts of the Commission. It is scheduled to end on Monday, October 2.

The original suit wanted the exercise to be suspended because it was going to be difficult for most first-time voters to move to the district offices to register.

Plaintiff Precious Ayitah adduced, for instance, that her place of residence is about 44.3 kilometers (km) from EC’s district office in Prampram, using the Accra-Aflao road, and about 37.3km, using the Akosombo-Accra road.

Lawyer Samoa Addo said it is sad for Madam Jean Mensa to continue this “illegality” given her background as a lawyer.

“It is sad that Madam Jean Mensa is a lawyer and she is behaving like the way she is behaving.

“Nevertheless, we are not deterred at all. We will ensure that she is served.”

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