An Accra High Court (Human Rights Division) has dismissed a judicial review application brought against the Minister for Regional Integration, the Attorney General and Minister of Justice and the Commission of Inquiry for the creation of new regions.
The case was instituted by the Chief of Srogboe in the Keta Municipality of the Volta Region, Togbi Patamia IV.
Togbi Patamia and five other petitioners had described the meetings of the Commission held in the Volta Region between January 15 and 20, 2018, as discriminatory.
According to the plaintiffs, the Commission concentrated its meetings only in the northern parts of the region, neglecting those in the south.
They are therefore praying the court to direct the Commission to give those in the south equal opportunity to make their inputs into the report of the commission.
The court presided over by Justice Gifty Adjei Addo, in her ruling noted the application for judicial review had been rendered moot because the work of the commission in that region had even passed before they came to court.
It further noted that even if the judicial review was granted no useful purpose would be served hence dismissed the application.
The state represented by Jonathan Acquah a Principal State Attorney objected to the application saying that issues raised were moot because the time set for hearing in the Volta region had passed.
Hearings by the commission in a publication of the Daily Graphic newspaper mentioned January 16 to 20, 2018.
Even though the application was filed on January 18, this year, the state held that the Attorney General received the application on January 22, this year, two clear days after hearing had been completed.
The state further held that article 279 (2) of the 1992 Constitution precluded the commission of Inquiry from being sued for their work and the commission.
Lawyer for the applicants, Albert Quarshiga held that hearings could still be held in the ignored parts of the Volta Region, adding the commission could still return to hold hearings if the court orders it.
Speaking to journalists after the ruling, Mr Quarshiga said he did not entirely agree with the court decision because it was not founded on law.
“I will sit with my people because the doors of the commission were not completely shut on us. I will engage my clients and see the way forward,” he added.
Members of the Commission of Enquiry into the creation of new regions were in the Volta Region to listen to the people as to whether they indeed supported the creation of the Oti Region out of the Volta Region.
The commission held public hearings at the Ho Technical University, Kete-Krachi Senior High School, Nkwanta South Municipal Assembly Hall, Kpassa Senior High Secondary Technical School Hall and the Nsuta-Buem Catholic Diocese Centre.