The Wenchi High Court has today, October 14, 2021, slapped a cost of GHC4,000.00 fine on the New Patriotic Party Member of Parliament for Techiman South, Mr. Martin Adjei-Mensah Korsah (1st Respondent) and the Electoral Commission (2nd Respondent) for deliberately attempting to delay the case unnecessarily.
This comes after the Lawyers for the First and Second Respondent were no where to be seen during today’s sitting.
However, Lawyer for the First Respondent, Frank Davies, has written to the court about his engagement elsewhere which necessitated his absence.
The Respondents went ahead to argue that because of the aforementioned letter, the Case Management Conference should be adjourn for one month — thus to 12th November, 2021.
Relying on Order 37, Rule 2 of the High Court Civil Procedure Rule, 2004 (C I 47), Lawyer Justin Pwavra Teriwajah for the Petitioner argued that the request as carried in the letter submitted by the 1st Respondent is in bad faith and clearly geared towards dragging and delaying the Election Petition unnecessarily.
According to him, the Techiman South Election Petition is of utmost National interest and relevance and must be recognised as such, adding that even though he has a case at the Somanya High Court, he asked someone to represent him so as to enable him be at this court.
He went further to state that “the bad faith of the Respondents is further aggravated by their failure or refusal to serve the Petitioner with a copy of the letter filed at the Registry of the court.”
He also argued that the Respondents, by their conduct, simply intend to frustrate justice and that must not be allowed by the court.
“Seeking adjournment by any party to a suit cannot be done Ex Parte and any attempt to do so is simply aimed at delaying and frustrating the justice system,” Lawyer for the Petitioner argued.
Lawyer Teriwajah then prayed the court to dismiss the request because it was brought in bad faith to deliberately prolong the election petition.
The court, in its decision noted that the absence of Counsels for the 1st and 2nd Respondents in this manner would not be countenanced, and that any attempt to drag the Petition unnecessarily will not be allowed.
The Court further dismissed the Request of the Respondents with cost — 1st and 2nd Respondents slapped with GHs4,000.00 each.
The case was adjourned to Thursday, October 21, 2021 in the forenoon.
Speaking to InsiderGH.com after today’s sitting, the Bono East Regional Treasurer of the NDC, Mr. Raphael Gapson noted that there was no need for the Respondents to come up with such a delay tactics after the Court’s little over two months holiday.
According to Mr. Gapson, the Respondents agreed during their last sitting to make themselves available for the Case Management Conference anytime the court resumes.
He believes that the manner in which the Respondents are going about the case is an indication of a clear agenda to delay proceedings.
Mr Christopher Beyere Baasongti filed a writ at the Wenchi High Court after the December 2020 general election to challenge the declaration of Mr Korsah, the then NPP candidate as the winner of the Techiman South parliamentary election.