The High Court, Cape Coast, hearing the electoral petitions filed by Stephen Asamoah Boateng and Lawrence Agyinsam, NPP Parliamentary candidates for the Mfantseman and Lower Hemang Denkyira constituencies, has once again slapped costs on Hon. Acquinas Tawiah Quansah, Hon. Foster Andoh and the Electoral Commission respectively.
The High Court, presided over by Mr. Justice J.B. Benson, slapped costs of Five Hundred Ghana Cedis (GHC 500.00) each, on both MPs and the Electoral Commission in both petitions.
This is the second time in recent weeks that the two MPs and the EC have been handed costs in respect of the petitions. On the first occasion the court slapped costs of One Thousand Ghana Cedis (GHC 1,000.00) on the EC in each of the two petitions and also slapped costs of Eight Hundred Ghana Cedis (GHC 800.00) on each of the MPs. This happened on March 14, 2013.
This follows the failure of the three to file their respective answers to the two petitions, Messrs. Asamoah Boateng and Agyinsam, filing applications to set down the petitions for trial on March 19, 2013.
Immediately, the two applications seeking to set down the petitions for trial were filed at the instance of Asamoah Boateng and Agyinsam on March 14, 2013 the EC and the two MPs quickly rushed to file two separate applications for extension of time to file their answers and also for the two petitioners to provide further and better particulars. Those two applications were fixed for 11th March, 2013.
However, the High Court could not sit on the 11th March, 2013 and adjourned the petition to 14th March, 2013, which date was the original date fixed for the determination of the applications by the two petitioners to set down the petitions for hearing, which would have meant that the High Court will hear and determine the petitions without the answers of the MPs and the EC.
On the 14th of March, 2013, though both MPs were in court, their lawyer, Stanley Ahor was not in court to move the applications. In the case of the EC, none of its officials as well as their lawyer Mr. Anthony Dabi was in court. The situation resulted in the High Court handing costs of One Thousand Ghana Cedis (GHC 1,000.00) on the EC in each of the two petitions and Eight Hundred Ghana Cedis (GHC 800.00) on each of the MPs. The High Court then adjourned both petitions for hearing on 19th March, 2013.
On 19th March, both counsel for the MPs and the EC moved their motions for extension of time and for the petitioners to provide further and better particulars.
Responding to the motions, Egbert Faibille. Jnr argued against the grant of the applications and prayed the court to dismiss the applications to enable the petitions to be heard expeditiously.
He further submitted that in the event that the court decided to grant the applications for extension of time and for further and better particulars, the petitioners were not in a position to furnish the Respondents with all the particulars being sought.
The court adjourned to March 27, 2013 for its ruling on the applications for extension of time and for further and better particulars.
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