The three petitioners, Emmanuel Apedzego, Richard Appiah and Issah Mohammed Adnan said the process has some constitutional lapses yet to be properly addressed,
Below is the full petition, take a read
Issue: 8th April 2019
The Dean of Students’ Affairs,
Koforidua Technical University,
Post Office Box 981,
SUBJECT: APPEAL TO PLACE AN INTERIM INJUNCTION ON THE SRC ELECTION PROCESS.
We humbly and respectfully write to petition your high office as a matter of urgency and in the interests of the entire student body to place an interim injunction on the 2019 SRC election process, due to some constitutional lapses yet to be properly addressed.
To begin with, we have witnessed with great shock the level of constitutional violation perpetuated by the 2019 Electoral Commission of the SRC and more especially, the Chief Justice of the council, who is to be the chief arbitrator for the students.
Article 9 clause B, section (II, III and IV) of the SRC constitution stipulates that;
The Chief Justice shall:
- “Be responsible to keep peace in the SRC and the student body”.
- “Advise the President and the council on all legal and constitutional matters”.
- “Be the chief Arbitrator for the students”.
Again, Article 23 section(x) also states clearly the composition of the vetting panel. The provisions mentioned supra and no other provision in the constitution mandates the SRC Chief Justice to be a part of the vetting panel. How be it, he was part of the panellists who vetted aspirants on Friday, 5th April, 2019.
Also Article 23 (section xiv) of the SRC constitution states and I quote;
- “A candidate who is dissatisfied with the decision of the Electoral Commission on any petition lodged, shall appeal to the Judicial Committee within (24) hours and the Committee shall sit on the Petition filed within the (24) hours”.
From the above provision stipulated in the SRC constitution, the Electoral Commission has exhibited gross incompetency by allowing the Chief Justice to be part of the electoral process. More so, the Chief Justice’s participation in the electoral process does not fall within the ambit of the SRC constitution, thus making the act ultra vires and hence null and void.
Furthermore, the SRC Chief Justice being the umpire of the SRC Judicial Council and also a member of the vetting committee breaches the principle of natural justice, ‘Nemo Judex in Causa Sua’, thus one cannot be a judge to his own case. For instance, in the event where electoral disputes arise or an aspirant challenges the vetting results, the chief justice is likely to be bias. This is because such apirant(s) were placed on such pedestal out of his own conduct as part of the vetting committee. By this, we stand to say that the vetting panel was not properly and constitutional composed.
Secondly, a Presidential aspirant by name Mr. Obed Mawupedzro Noussokpe and his running mate, Mr. Adamu Abdulai Faisal could not meet the constitutionally mandated CPGA requirement of 3.00 and above for his running mate, Adamu Abdulai Faisal as vice presidential aspirants after the verification process. We believe that before any student decides to vie for any SRC position, he or she should have foreknowledge of the requirements stipulated in the SRC Constitution. Therefore, the attempt in the first place to pick a nomination form by the forementioned aspirants indicates that these persons want to bend the process and undermine the supremacy of the SRC constitution. Such lawless acts should not be pardoned and therefore calls for disqualification.
The Electoral Commission instead of disqualifying these aspirants after noticing that Mr. Adamu, the vice presidential aspirant did not meet the CGPA requirement of 3.00 and above, the commission rather engaged the presidential aspirant to re-apply with a new running mate as vice president in the person of Mr. Emmanuel Kyei. This contravenes Article 24 Clause C (section V) which stipulates the academic requirement for prospective candidates, as such the electoral commission does not have the prerogative right to determine in such instances. Once your vice does not qualify it automatically disqualifies your candidature. This clearly shows that the electoral commission does not have in-depth knowledge of the office they have been appointed to occupy.
Again, it is on record that Mr. Emmanuel Kyei, who happened to be the second running mate to Mr. Obed Mawupedzro Noussokpe did not receive any official endorsement from his department and this as well violates the electoral commission’s own rules and regulations.
The current composition of the electoral commission is invalid and grossly violates Article 23 section (II) which states that;
“The commission shall be composed of at most two (2) students from each faculty, of which nominations to this effect shall be open to the General students’ body.”
Furtherance to this, the electoral commission in their own prerogative interest co-opted another person to join the commission which we think is unacceptable. Co-opting to a commission or a committee in our perspective is done when further knowledge is needed on a particular item being discussed, and not for the assimilated person to hold a position within the commission.
Again, the co-opted student in the person of Mr. Perry is a representative from the faculty of applied science and technology (FAST) and this also violates the stipulated number in the constitution.
Finally, Article 3 section (4&5) of the Act of the General Assembly also mandates the Monitoring and Evaluation Committee to;
- “Evaluate all programmes, projects and activities undertaken by the Council”.
- “Access the progress of programmes, activities and projects undertaken by the Council”.
We believe that the SRC elections is one of the key activities of the council and therefore, the committee have been negligent in the performance of their duties without any excuse and has failed in their quest as a committee since they have also allowed all this constitutional breaches.
We are therefore by this petition craving your indulgence to correct these constitutional violations and upon receipt of this petition we do request that;
- All further electoral proceedings should be hal
- The vetting process and results should be nullified.
- The nomination of Mr. Obed Mawupedzro Noussokpe and Mr. Emmanuel Kyei should be rendered void since they did not use the right process to fill their nominations.
- A new vetting panel should be reconstituted to vet nominees so as not to set a bad precedence and also to correct the constitutional violations of the previous panel
- The Electoral commission should step aside for not respecting the supremacy and breaching provisions in the constitution so the General Assembly can appointed a new committee to handle the elections.
- The leadership of the General Assembly should call for an emergency meeting to deal with all the constitutional breaches and punish all those involved as law requires.
- The SRC chief justice should as well humbly resign from his position for endorsing all these constitutional violations because he has failed in protecting and defending the constitution of the SRC.
- The Monitoring and Evaluation committee should be suspended by the General Assembly.
We are also requesting that the leadership of the SRC and all relevant authorities give us concrete and convincing responses as to ways to curb and properly correct these violations created without further delay within three working days from receipt of this petition. Failure to heed to our clarion to actions by Wednesday 10th April 2019, we shall advise ourselves without any further notice.
We look forward to a favorable response from your dignified office.
Computer Science Department.
Medical Laboratory Science
Issah Mohammed Adnan.
Procument and supply Science Department.
SRC Electoral Commission.
Chief Justice, SRC.
The Speaker, SRC.
Monitoring and Evaluation Committee.