A private legal practitioner and member of the opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC), Nii Kpakpo Samoa Addo has clarified a directive from the Supreme Court that compelled his party to withdraw a relief in its case in court.
According to the legal practitioner, the directive from the bench was procedural.
The NDC on Thursday, June 11, 202 was given a choice to select one of the two reliefs it was seeking in court.
The party dropped its case on the compilation of a new register and decided to pursue the case on the rejection of the current voter ID on the list of identification documents needed to register to vote.
Some persons have claimed the apex court was unfair to the NDC in that regard.
But sharing his legal opinion on the matter on Eyewitness News, Mr. Samoa Addo said the directive from the apex court is not strange.
“There is nothing strange in the fact that the court is the master of its own procedure and especially when you are before the Supreme Court, which is the highest court of the land, empowered with all the powers of all the lower courts and itself, it has the powers to ask the parties appearing before it to conform to certain practices that in the opinion of the court will effectively lead to adjudication of matters before it.”
The legal practitioner said “It is nothing strange that the court requests that certain things be done procedurally so as to make sure that justice is quickly and effectively served. This happens all the time. Parties amend their relief each and every single time in court. Even up before judgment, you are allowed to file an amendment of your case. I think it will be very unfair to say that the court had in any way prejudice the position of any of the parties.”
“The court asked that between the reliefs, choose one and the lawyer who then decides that in respect of reliefs that I have which of them best gets me to the destination that I want to get to so then the lawyer then makes a decision informed by whatever his ultimate destination is in respect of whatever his instructions are and where he expects to get his client to. So it is nothing strange for a court to ask a party with multiple reliefs to narrow down their reliefs to a particular one or two to enable the court to effectively deal with the matter before it,” he explained.
Supreme Court to rule on the case on June 23
Following the Electoral Commission’s unwavering decision to compile a new register for the 2020 general elections, the largest opposition party which had tried several means to have the decision aborted but failed went to court in March 2020 over the issue.
It prayed the Supreme Court to stop the EC from compiling a new register. The party also wanted the Supreme Court to order the EC to include in its identification document the existing voter ID.
But during the hearing of the case on Thursday, June 11, 2020, the Supreme Court directed the NDC to select one relief, a directive which was adhered to.
The Supreme Court subsequently set Tuesday, June 23, 2020, to deliver its judgment on the case.