Aseidu Nketia and NDC legal team at Wenchi High Court
The opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC) has withdrawn the case against the Clerk of Parliament in the Techiman South election dispute that was pending at the Wenchi High Court in the Bono Region.
Lawyers of the NDC told the court at its sitting yesterday that they found it difficult to serve the writ on the Clerk of Parliament as the third respondent in the case due to his busy schedule in Parliament.
They said as a result of that, and upon expert advice, the party has decided to withdraw the case against him but continue with the first respondent and winner of the controversial Techiman South parliamentary election, Martin Kweku Adjei-Mensah Korsah and the second respondent, the Electoral Commission (EC) suits.
Speaking to the press after yesterday’s proceedings, the General Secretary of the party, Johnson Asiedu Nketia, explained they were in court for three reasons; first, to apply for notice of discontinuance of the case against the third respondent, that is, the Clerk of Parliament, second, to file a motion on notice to set aside the answer filed by the first respondent and third, file a motion on notice for leave to serve interrogatories on the second defendant.
The court has thus ruled on the first application to discontinue the case against the third respondent.
The lawyers of the respondent however, raised an objection that the petitioner could not just withdraw the case against the third respondent just like that since he has gone further steps under Order 17 rule 2 of Constitutional Instrument 99 (C I) which outlines two modes by which a petitioner could withdraw a case against a defendant.
Giving his ruling, Justice Fredrick Arnold W.K. Nawurah said that from the records the petitioner had taken further steps in the case by filing a notice for leave to serve interrogatories on the second respondent (EC) prior to filing his application.
So the petitioner is required to withdraw by the second method of discontinuance which is notice with leave of court because Order 17 Rule 2 (3) states that a plaintiff shall not be entitled to withdraw an action without leave of court in the circumstances.
The court thus suspended the two applications to allow the petitioner to come properly to serve notice on the third respondent before continuing with other cases.
The case was thus adjourned indefinitely.
From Daniel Dayee, Techiman