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NDC Primaries: Duffuor files application to injunct 13 May polls

National Democratic Congress (NDC) presidential candidate hopeful, Dr Kwabena Duffuor, has filed an application at the High Court seeking an order to injunct the NDC’s presidential and parliamentary primaries scheduled for Saturday 13 May 2023.

According to the writ of summons filed at the General Jurisdiction Court on Tuesday (9 May 2023), Dr Kwabena Duffuor is the plaintiff and there are five defendants. They are the NDC’s general secretary (1st defendant), the NDC’s director of elections (2nd defendant), former president John Dramani Mahama (3rd defendant), former KMA mayor, Kojo Bonsu (4th defendant) and the Electoral Commission of Ghana (5th defendant).

The motion is scheduled to be moved in court on Monday 15 May 2023, two clear days after the date scheduled for the NDC’s internal polls (13 May). Lawyers of the NDC are expected to go to court to seek an abridgement of the time to ensure that the application is dealt with expeditiously to allow the polls to go on as planned.

Reliefs sought
Essentially, Dr Kwabena Duffuor is seeking three reliefs in his application. First, he is asking the court for a “declaration that the Photo Album Register issued by the 1st defendant and 2nd defendants to the Plaintiff on 4 May 2023 as the primary document for conducting the internal Presidential election of the National Democratic Congress on the 13 of May, 2023 is incomplete and inaccurate.”

Secondly, he is praying the court for “an order directing the 1st and 2nd defendants to prepare and deliver a complete and accurate Photo Album Register to the Plaintiff and other presidential aspirants of the National Democratic Congress at least five weeks ahead of the elections to enable the aspirants carry out the needed verification of the Photo Album Register.”

Lastly, Dr Duffuor is seeking “an injunction restraining the 1st, 2nd and 5th defendants from conducting the internal presidential elections of the National Democratic Congress on 13 May 2023 pending compliance with second reliefs [as stated above].”

Duffuor’s contention
It is Dr Duffuor’s contention that the Photo Album Register put out by the NDC’s director of elections with the knowledge, consent and tacit approval of the party’s general secretary, would compromise the integrity of the elections, erode public trust in the elections and lead to disputes over the election results.

Dr Duffuor in his statement of claim as filed in court “avers that the partial delivery of the Photo Album Register to his representatives on 4th May, 2023 was in itself out of time considering the magnitude of the verification exercise required of them before the internal elections on 13 May 2023.”

The plaintiff, Dr Duffuor states again that “to their (Duffuor team) utmost surprise, upon verification, it was found that the number of constituencies on the hard drive given to his representatives was 220 in number as opposed to the alleged number of 228 constituencies indicated by the defendant.”

He adds that “an initial verification of the said 220 constituencies on the hard drive given to his representatives by the 2nd defendant established basic errors and inaccuracies that render the Photo Album Register inaccurate and unreliable for a free, fair and credible elections.”

Furthermore, Dr Duffuor asserts “that records of some of the delegates have been duplicated and given different names and different Party identification numbers, a sizeable number of the eligible voters have no photographs exhibited on the Photo Album Register making it impossible to conduct any meaningful verification exercise on these persons.”

The plaintiff adds that of the 220 constituencies, an exceptional list of 74,799 people has been created to take part in the elections which said exceptional list cannot be verified because of the scanty information provided about them in the Photo Album Register.

Following these discoveries, Dr Duffuor indicates that he caused “a petition to be lodged with the 5th defendant (EC) for the 5th defendant’s intervention for a comprehensive and accurate register to be compiled by the 1st and 2nd defendants and prevent fraudulent activities such as multiple voting, impersonation and disenfranchising of eligible and qualified voters.”

The plaintiff, Dr Duffuor therefore “maintains that the 1st and 2nd defendants reluctance to extend the time for the internal elections and provide a complete and credible Photo Album Register ahead of time to the Presidential aspirants for verification, smacks of a plan to create undue advantage for manipulation of the
presidential primaries”.

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