The EC filed the motion on January 30 and praying the court to extend the 12 month deadline, which ended in December 2018, to January, 2020.

An affidavit in support of the motion which was deposed to by the EC Chairperson, Mrs Jean Mensa, cites leadership challenges at the EC as the reason for the appeal for extension of time.

READ MORE:EC sued over ROPAA implementation

"I say that after the judgment of the honourable court, the 1st respondent (EC) experienced serious leadership challenges eventually leading to the removal from office of my predecessor and the Deputy Commissioners who were then in the Commission," it said.

The High Court, Human Rights Division presided over by Justice Anthony K. Yeboah in December 2017 delivered judgment in the case brought by five citizens over the delayed implementation of ROPAA.

The Kufuor administration superintended the passage into law in 2006 of Act 699 to allow citizens, including dual nationals, to be registered abroad and to vote from abroad.

However, Justice Anthony Yeboah, had held that its order was to ensure that Ghanaians outside the country registered and voted in the 2020 elections.

READ MORE: US-based Ghanaians drag EC to court over ROPAA

According to the court, the EC was to "uphold and ensure the full compliance of the operationalisation of Act 699’’ within the 12-month period by laying before Parliament a Constitutional Instrument (CI) that would set out the modalities for the implementation of Act 699, and that in the event that the EC had any justifiable reason and was “unable to comply with the order", the commission was to publish the justifiable reason(s) 30 days before the expiration of the deadline and also appear before the court to explain the reason(s).

EC Chairperson Jean Mensa
EC Chairperson Jean Mensa

Background

Five Ghanaians resident in the United States sued the Electoral Commission (EC) over the non-implementation of the law.

The applicants want the Human Rights High Court to declare that the failure by the EC to operationalise the Act since it became law on February 24, 2006, is a breach of their fundamental rights under the various laws (Articles 42 and 33 (5), (Article 13 of the African Charter on Human and People’s Rights, etc.) and legal instruments.The five – Kofi A. Boateng, Agyenim Boateng, Nellie Kemevor, Obed Danquah and Christiana Sillim also want the court to declare that the refusal to uphold full operationalization of the Act by the Attorney General (AG) – who is also a party to the suit – since it became law, is a breach of the said various laws and legal instruments.

READ ALSO: High Court orders EC to provide evidence for ROPAA implementation

The applicants, among others, also seek a declaration that their "right to vote and entitlement to be re-registered as voters for the purpose of public elections and referenda" in the light of Act 699 have been violated.