by: michael eli dokosi /www.blakkpepper.com/ghana
#blakkpeppertins @blakkpeppernews @MystiqMike fb: Blakkpepper Ghana
On Friday, October 28 2016, an Accra High Court presided over by His Lordship George Kyei Baffour in his ruling quashed the disqualification of PPP presidential candidate, Dr Papa Kwesi Nduom by the Electoral Commission (EC).
Dr Nduom was part of 13 aspirants disqualified from contesting in the December elections over alleged illegalities on their nomination forms.
Dr Nduom, according to the EC, was disqualified because “the number of subscribers to his forms did not meet the requirements of Regulation 7 (2) (b) of CI 94.
One subscriber Richard Aseda (‘Asida’ on the Voters’ Register), with Voter ID no 7812003957) endorsed the forms in two different districts (pages 21 and 39).
The subscriber was found to be on the Voter’s Register in one district thereby disqualifying his second subscription and reducing the total number of subscribers to below the minimum required by the Law.
The same subscriber (Richard Aseda (‘Asida’) endorsed the form with different signatures in both portions of the nomination form. This raises questions as to the legitimacy of one or both signatures.
But legal counsel for Dr Ndoum, Ayikoi Otoo argued his client ought to be afforded the opportunity by the commission to amend his form since every man deserved a fair hearing before a punitive measure is effected.
His Lordship George Kyei Baffour gave the ruling which was golden music in the ears of Dr Ndoum and hundreds of supporters who had amassed at the court premises.
“I will proceed after quashing the decision of the Respondents disqualifying the Applicant as a candidate and order that the Respondents afford opportunity to the Applicant to make the necessary alteration or amendment to its nomination paper for it to receive same and then proceed to determine whether the Applicant had met all the criteria laid down by the laws of the Republic, in line with its duty laid down by C.I. 94. EC has no basis to complain that nomination period has closed when they did not set one. They only set nomination day under regulation 7 but not nomination period under regulation 9(2) as I have already found. The time frame to afford the Applicant is entirely within the discretion of the Respondents being mindful of the limited time available for the elections on December 7, 2016,” Justice Eric K. Baffour ruled.
Upon hearing their man-of-hope, Ndoum had been given a life line, there was untamed celebration right from the court yard to the Progressive People’s Party (PPP) headquarters where Dr Nduom had trekked on foot with the party faithfuls receiving cheers and beaming with smiles.
A ‘saintly’ Ndoum also remarked “the correction won’t take us more than 1 hour to make. If we had been given the opportunity none of these would have happened.”
“When the 2016 ballot is out, electorates will see someone like me on the ballot with my mustache. The people of Ghana must be allowed to choose who they want,” he added.
The EC dissatisfied with Justice Kyei Baffour’s ruling has sought interpretation from the Supreme Court knowing very well if the PPP’s Ndoum gets a second chance then the 12 other failed presidential aspirants will demand a seat at the ballot table. The nation awaits the verdict from the apex court on a case which has split opinions from lawyers and laymen alike.
But crucially while it may appear Ndoum had strong wide spread support from PPP loyalists, the situation on the ground couldn’t be different.
This writer whose office is situated at Asylum Down Roundabout not a distance from the PPP headquarters, was returning from town on that fateful Friday and used the PPP route to get to the office. There were buses of all shapes with occupants, ranging from Metro Mass buses (Kufuor Buses), pick up trucks to 37 seater Benz buses.
The language of currency was crisp Fante and Ga with coastal mannerisms, where, as can be expected EC Chair, Charlotte Osei was the chewing stick in the mouths of the youthful men and women as well as the elderly with expressions “we have pinned Charlotte Osei on the ground”, “PPP Ya Sor – PPP We’ve Risen”, “Ndoum will become president” etc.
The euphoria was high as the ruling by the justice had just been given.
It didn’t take long for another entourage running in to the hundreds to emerge, this time led by Papa Kwesi Ndoum himself who had ditched his Escalade for a foot ride receiving all the well-wishes and goodwill pouring in from by-standers.
A few hours later, this writer exited the office to grab lunch and used the PPP headquarters once more. This time the picture was different.
The euphoria had died down and agitated young men, women and 40 year olds were hanging around buses which brought them expectant of receiving cash from their coordinators with some yelling “won’t they bring the cash for us to get going.”
Some were visibly agitated fearing they would be cheated from their day’s wage as in cases of (masons who engage in By Day work) and were suspicious.
Others could be seen consuming Kenkey and fish while others settled for rice in packs.
When Ndoum begun his regional ‘thank you tours’ at Elmina in the Central Region, he profusely thanked Komenda-Edina-Eguafo-Abirem (KEEA) folks for their support in his trying moment.
He had also made stops at Kasoa, Budumbura, Winneba and Makessim markets and effected a drive-through Cape Coast to show the people he was grateful.
As to if Ndoum being on the ballot will make him president I cannot tell, the good people of this country have that power and will wield it on December 7. As to if he will cause an upset forcing the election into a run-off I cannot also tell but Dr Ndoum must know by now that if the support he enjoys is not organic then it is simply because of his wealth that those who profess love for him do so.
It must have been Dr Ndoum who foot the bill of all those who were transported to Accra to show he had the numbers for after all didn’t he say he footed the bill of GHS1.7million filing fees for his presidential nomination and parliamentary aspirants as well?
The food packages presented the hundreds of supporters is a Ghanaian custom where hosts often fete guests in their care but one would have thought a spontaneous fervor wouldn’t have involved busing perceived supporters to congregate at the court premises if they sincerely believed in the principles of the party and presidential aspirant.
Such organic support would surely have a long shelf life and might even lead to a betterment of the 64,362 votes Dr Ndoum secured in the 2012 general elections representing 0.59%.
For now the appeal of the party looks good on the surface but time will tell if Dr Ndoum truly commands organic following which can win elections for him or be a major deciding force in Ghana’s recent politicking.