The Supreme Court has declared the 16 electoral areas created in the Ledzokuku electoral area in 2010 as null and void.
Consequently, the court has unanimously invalidated the district assembly elections held in the area based on that electoral regime.
According to the court, the Local Government (Creation of New Districts Electoral Areas and Designation of Units) Instrument, 2010, L.I. 1983 on which the electoral areas were increased from 12 to 16 was unconstitutional and therefore null and void.
In its judgement delivered on December 7, 2011, the court held that Parliament did not follow the laid down procedure in amending the L.I.I when it was laid before the House.
It said Parliament had the constitutional power to amend, review, or rewrite a L.I laid before it in accordance with article 11 of the 1992 constitution and that they could do by annulling what had been laid before them by votes of not less than two-thirds of all the members of parliament.
However, in the case of L.I 1983, the court held that what parliament did created a different instrument from the original which was laid before it instead of annulling it.
The court’s decision followed a writ filed by Nii Tetteh Opremreh, chief of Shiashie, East Legon in Accra against the Electoral Commission (EC) and the Attorney-General that parliament did not have the power to do what it purported to do when the L.I 1983 was laid before it on October 19, 2010.
Nii Opremreh further sought an order to restrain the EC, its agents and assigns from in any way, using the new electoral areas created under the schedule to L.I. 1983 for the District Assembly Elections that was conducted on December 28, 2010.
He also sought for an order directed at the EC to use only the original copy of L.I. 1983 as laid before parliament on October 19, 2010 to conduct the District Assembly Elections.
The court declared that the original copy of L.I. 1983, which was laid before Parliament on October 19, 2010 automatically came into force in accordance with Article 11 (7) of the 1992 Constitution, on the expiration of 21 sitting days.
In a situation of annulling what had been laid before it, the court held that Parliament could by that reject the L.I. so laid before it, then sent it back to its source of origin, perhaps with the amendments, variations and reviews for that body to consider and re-submit to Parliament.
It was the case of the plaintiff that at page 106 of the original copy of L.I 1983 under the heading ‘District’ Kpeshie with Burma Camp were cerated 24 electoral areas with Kpeshie and Ledzokuku each with 12 electoral areas.
However, contended that the same L.I. passed by Parliament made changes and also increased the number to 28 instead of the original 24 with other differences in divisions of some of the areas and indication that as far as the Grater Accra region was concerned the subsidiary legislation committee of Parliament reviewed or amended the original LI. 1983 in respect of Kpeshie and Ledzokuku districts.;
Source: Timothy Gobah/D-Graphic
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