EC’s application to disqualify judge from hearing NDP case dismissed

An application that sought to prevent an Accra High Court judge from hearing the disqualification case brought against Ghana’s Electoral Commission (EC) by the National Democratic Party has been dismissed. The EC applied to the Court to disqualify the presiding judge, Justice Eric Kyei Baffour, from hearing the case on grounds that the judge in the instant case may not depart from his decision in a similar case involving the Progressive People’s Party. Justice Baffour last week ordered the EC to give the presidential nominee of the Progressive People’s Party, Dr Papa Kwesi Nduom, the opportunity to rectify errors found on his nomination forms based on which the Commission disqualified him on October 10. The EC has since filed an appeal at the Supreme Court to challenge the decision of the High Court. The Supreme Court is set to rule on that case on November 10. In view of the court’s decision in the PPP case, lawyer for the EC, Thaddeus Sory, on Friday moved a motion praying Justice Baffour to recuse himself from the case arguing it is very unlikely he will depart from his previous ruling. Mr Sory contended that Justice Kyei Baffour was likely to be bias, more so when counsel for the NDP, Ace Ankomah, had cited portions of the PPP ruling to support their case. But Mr Ankomah opposed the application grounding it on the fact that a mere allegation isn’t enough justification for a judge to recuse himself from a case. TV3’s Selorm Amenyah reports that the judge after listening to the arguments, dismissed the EC application and described it as “unmeritorious and frivolous”

By Asante Okyere Bismark