Legal Practitioner and Host of JoyNews’ Newsfile Samson Lardi Anyenini says aspirants who have been disqualified by the Electoral Commission can face a jail term of 10 years if found guilty of forgery.
This comes after 5 out of 17 aspirants who filed to contest the 2020 Presidential elections were disqualified by the Commission.
The five; Kwesi Addae Odike, Kofi Koranteng, Marricke Kofi Gane, Kwasi Busumbru and Nana Agyenim Boateng were disqualified because of what the EC described as inconsistencies in their filing forms.
Their cases bordered on allegations of forgery of signatures and the manufacturing of endorsees which has since been forwarded to the Police Criminal Investigation Department (CID) for further probe.
Mr Lardi, however, speaking on JoyNews said the aspirants may face a minimum jail term of 3 years and a maximum of 10 years imprisonment.
“If the decision of the Electoral Commission is charging them with forging of official documents, then they are looking at a maximum of 10 years imprisonment if they were found guilty. But if the decision was to charge them for forging other documents, then they are looking to a maximum of 3 years in jail”.
He added that, per provisions in the Constitution, all of the five disqualified aspirant would have to give up on their ambition to contest for the presidential election if indeed they are found guilty of the alleged crime.
He said the Constitution prohibits anyone found guilty of fraud from contesting in any Presidential election.
“Now if they were found guilty, what that means is that they will not have the opportunity next time to contest because to be qualified to be a president, the constitution requires that you must first be qualified to be a Member of Parliament.
“The constitution again says that you are not qualified to be a member of Parliament if you have been convicted of certain crimes such as fraud, dishonesty and even questions of moral turpitude.
“And if you have committed any of these crimes, then you are not qualified to contest as a Member of Parliament. Once you are not qualified to contest as a Member of Parliament, then you are disqualified to contest as a presidential candidate” he added.