Court dismisses PPP filing fee suit

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An Accra High Court has struck out a suit in which the Progressive People’s Party (PPP) is challenging the filing fees charged by the Electoral Commission (EC) for the presidential and parliamentary elections.
The presiding judge explained Wednesday that she has no jurisdiction over the matter, hence her decision to dismiss the case.

PPP sued the EC on September 19 over what it described as an “arbitrary, capricious and unreasonable” fees demanded of both presidential and parliament candidates.
The suit cited the Minister of Justice and Attorney-General as a co-defendant.

The party sought five reliefs namely;

(a) A declaration that the Presidential and Parliamentary Filing Fees and or Deposits as announced by the 1st Defendant on September 8, 2016, for the conduct of the Presidential and Parliamentary Elections 2016 in the Republic of Ghana is arbitrary, capricious and unreasonable.
(b) A declaration that regulation 45 of C.I.94 is discriminatory, arbitrary, capricious and unreasonable.
(c) A declaration that the entire C.I.94 does not contain the appropriate relevant provisions that meet the intendment of article 296 of the 1992 Constitution.
(d) A declaration that the proper instrument within the meaning of the relevant laws of the Republic of Ghana in charging a deposit and or fees for conducting a Presidential and Parliamentary Elections by Electoral Commission is a statutory instrument and not constitutional instrument.
(e) An order that at the Defendants to desist from collecting and or receiving the said deposit or fees for the conduct of the 2016 Presidential and Parliamentary Elections until the appropriate statutory instruments have been passed in accordance with an appropriate legal regime.

But in an act that was largely condemned by Ghanaians, PPP National Chairman, Dr Nii Allotey Brew-Hammond submitted an amount of GHC2,800,000 to the EC covering the filing fee of the presidential candidate, Dr Papa Kwesi Nduom and some selected parliamentary candidates.

The PPP’s filing fee suit preceded the one the party filed at the High Court challenging the disqualification of the party’s flagbearer by the Commission on October 10.

In the disqualification suit, Justice Kyei Baffuor, the judge who presided over the matter ruled in favor of the PPP leader, directing the EC to afford him the opportunity to make amendment on his nomination form.
The Commission was unhappy with the ruling resulting in the decision to head to the Supreme Court (SC) to seek review of the judgment.

There is no indication if the party would seek a review of the High Court ruling considering the tussle ahead of it in the coming days.

In a related development, General Secretary of the Party, Mohammed Murtala has said it is not over as the party will continue to pursue the case, arguing that he is doing it for the interest of all Ghanaians.