High Court Grants Deputy Attorney General’s Request To Hear NIA Injunction Case Early

An Accra High Court has granted a request by the Deputy Attorney General Godfred Yeboah Dame to have it hear an injunction case against the National Identification Authority (NIA) earlier than usual.

The case was slated to be heard on April 9. The court has now fixed Friday, March 27 to hear the case.

Two citizens Mark Oliver Kevor and Emmanuel Okrah filed a case in court asking that the NIA be stopped from carrying out its registration exercise. They maintain the exercise is contrary to the social distancing directives issued by President Akufo-Addo in the wake of the Covid-19 cases recorded in Ghana.

A different division of the High Court presided over by Justice Daniel Mensah on March 23 granted a similar request filed by businessman Prince Tabi and 29 others.

This injunction is to be in force for the next 10 days since March 23.

The NIA has since Saturday morning called of its exercise citing the application filed by Kevor and others. The AG’s office which is joined as a defendant in this action filed two applications in court.

The first asking the court to hear the injunction motion filed by the two citizens earlier than usual. The other asking the court to dismiss the application for an injunction.

Lawyer for the two citizens Nii Kpapko Samoa Addo on Thursday urged the court to dismiss the request to have the case heard earlier than usual. He maintained the rules of court required that they be served with such an application three days before the court date.

He also argued that the High Court differently constituted had already granted an injunction in respect of the same facts.

Deputy Attorney General Godfred Yeboah Dame disagreed maintaining the state’s request is legal.

He also urged the court to disregard the reference to a granted injunction since that was not a matter before the court.

Justice Anthony Oppong granted the request to hear the matter early.

He described as paradoxical the opposition by the two citizens to an application that will ensure early determination of a matter they say infringes their rights.

He, however, admitted that the Deputy’s AG application does not meet the three-day requirement.

The court, however, stated that it is exercising its right to allow the application and correct the anomaly as though a request had been made to the court allowing the three-day rule not be followed.

The National Identification Authority has also entered an appearance with its lawyer Kwaku Essilfie filing documents in opposition to the application for an injunction.

Justice Oppong adjourned proceedings to Friday, March 27 to enable the lawyers for the two citizens study the documents filed by the NIA.