A case filed by the International Standards Journalist Association (ISJA) against the Electoral Commission over media accreditation fees has been dismissed by an Accra High Court.
Justice Gifty Agyei Addo dismissed the case based on an application filed by the lawyer for the EC, Thaddeus Sory that the group had failed to appropriately invoke the court’s jurisdiction.
She awarded a cost of Ghc 3,000 cedis against the group.
The ISJA filed the suit after the EC announced its intention to charge accreditation fees from journalists who would cover the December 7 elections.
The group had said the Commission’s demand for payment of money as a condition for the issuing of accreditation tag constitutes discrimination against journalists.
In its statement of claim reported on November 11, the Association said the move is an “unconstitutional discrimination against each journalist on the basis of his status as a Ghanaian journalist.”
This is because “non- Ghanaian journalists approved by the Commission to cover the election have not been asked to pay money to as a condition of for the issuing of accreditation tags.”
The ISJA explained in the statement that “every citizen who votes is entitled to supervise the Electoral Commission in order to ensure transparency, credibility, legitimacy, legality and correctness of election processes and outcomes.”
“That right cannot be exercised by every citizen because of illiteracy, old age, sickness, the inconvenience of the greatest majority and the sheer volume of numbers as compared to the limited spaces available at the Commission,” it emphasised.
Reporting from court, Joy News’ Ackah-Blay said the EC’s legal cousel Thaddeus Sory had argued that the complainant should have come to the court through an application not a writ of summons.
This is because the suit is one that deals with fundamental human rights, Mr. Sory explained. He also said the ISJA is not a registered company.
After the dismissal of the case on Tuesday, the group, however, filed a fresh suit at the High Court seeking to restrain the EC from charging accreditation fees for coverage of next week’s polls.
The hearing of the new case will be heard on Wednesday, November 30.
Source – Myjoyonline.com