On Tuesday 26 January, that is Day 28 counting from when former President John Mahama filed his election petition at the Supreme Court, which also marked Day 3 of the hearing, the seven-member panel openly chided the petitioner for failing to comply with the court’s earlier orders asking him to file his witness statements.
When the court sat at exactly 9.30 am, Tsatsu Tsikata, the Lead Counsel for the petitioner was not present as expected.
Tony Lithur, who is his assistant stood up to introduce himself, followed by Justin Amenuvor with Somuah Asamoah for the First Respondent; and Akoto Ampaw with Frank Davies, Kwaku Asirifi and Yaw Oppong for 2nd Respondent.
Samuel Ofosu-Ampofo, the NDC National Chairman represented the Petitioner; Jean Mensa, Chairperson of the Electoral Commission (EC) represented her institution named as the 1st Respondent, whilst Peter Mac Manu, the 2020 NPP Campaign Manager represented Nana Akufo-Addo, the second Respondent.
Before the hearing could start, however, Tony Lithur, who had defended Mahama in the 2012-2013 election petition and was thus equally able and capable, pleaded with the court for a halt to the day’s proceedings until the arrival of Tsatsu Tsikata.
The justices did not take kindly to that, stating that the official time for the hearing was 9.30 am.
The justices further indicated that Lithur’s law firm, Lithur Brew & Company, had been filing all the processes at the court with his signature on the filed documents, hence he was competent to deal with the matter at hand.
The justices, thus denying him that request, then proceeded to bombard Lithur with a series of questions bordering on why their team failed to obey the court’s orders.
Below is the interaction between the Justices and Mr Lithur:
Bench: Your understanding of the stay of proceedings is that you don’t file processes ordered by the court?
Tony Lithur: Our application is intended to stay or hold proceedings.
Bench: You say stay means not to file processes but even yesterday, you filed processes so you choose and pick what to file. Let me understand you, by filing a stay are you saying you need not file the witness statements and the written submission?
Bench: You filed the petition, you came to this court and submitted your cause of action and reliefs. You said you had five witnesses and we ordered all counsel[s] to file their witness statements, why have you not filed?
Tony Lithur in all these sought to impress on the court that the determination of their review related to the issues and the witness statements, hence their decision not to file but rather file the stay. Bench: Are you saying that in case the review is refused, you would not file witness statements?
Tony Lithur: We will file without the issues in the application.
Bench: Then why not comply and when it is granted, you file a supplementary. Why are you not obeying the orders of the court but you want the court to hear you?
The justices then went on recess to attend to the application for stay of proceedings.
When the court resumed around 10: 23 am, the President of the Court, Kwasi Anin Yeboah ruled thus:
The business of conducting this petition will be done in an orderly and expeditious manner and as procedurally directed by C.I. 99. It is clear that whatever issue that may arise from the interrogatories filed by the petitioner can be incorporated in the due conduct of the trial.
“We do not appreciate the fact that the current processes filed should make room for the petitioners to [ignore] the prior orders of the court to the extent that the earlier order has not been complied with.
“The petitioner is referred to the following rules of the court: Rule 69 C4b of the Supreme Court rule as amended by C.I. 99 which reads that the court may dismiss the petition when the petitioner fails to file the processes directed within the specified time.
The court will determine the petition when the respondents fail to file their answers or the processes regarding their answer within the specified time,” the Chief Justice said.
The petitioner was thus cautioned and asked to submit his witness statement by close of business on Wednesday.
The court adjourned sitting to Thursday, January 28. Tsatsu Tsikata, who was then present [during this ruling], expressed his profound gratitude to the court.
Blame Yourself For Not Doing Your Work Properly In The Strong Room – Supreme Court Chastizes Kpessah Whyte And Mettle-Nunoo
The justices of the supreme court have told witnesses of Mr John Dramani Mahama in the election petition, Mr Rojo Mettle Nunoo and Dr Michael Kpessa-Whyte to blame themselves for abandoning their duties in the strong room during the final collation of the election results if their claims are to be believed.
During proceedings, the two witnesses told the court that they were sent by the Chair of the Electoral Commission (EC) to Mr Mahama at the time of the collation of the final results in the strong room. In their absence, the results were then announced.
Delivering the judgment on Thursday, March 4 the court said “…Notwithstanding all these allegations of misunderstandings with the chair of the 1st respondent in the strong room and the fact that they were absent during the declaration, they did not give any indication as to how these happenings in their absence affected the final results announced by the 1st Respondent.
“The testimonies would have carried some little weight if the purpose of the petition was to change entries made on the collation forms or summary sheets but that is not the case.
“Their testimonies were therefore of no relevance to the said issues set out for determination and so we find them unworthy for consideration whatsoever.
“In fact, regarding the testimonies of PW2 and PW3 , if their evidence is to be believed then they had to blame themselves for abandoning their post at the national collation centre at the time the verification and certification of the results were ongoing and PW3 had then verified and certified the regional collation results out of the 16.”
Breaking News: Supreme Court Unanimously Dismisses Mahama’s Petition As Having No Merit
The 7-member panel of the Supreme Court hearing the 2020 election petition have dismissed the 2020 election petition brought before the court by flagbearer of the NDC for the 2020 elections, John Dramani Mahama.
In an extensive verdict read by Chief Justice Kwasi Anin Yeboah, the court was of the opinion that the petitioner failed to disclose how the so-called errors by the EC chair materially affected the declaration.
Supreme Court Update: Mahama In Court As Judges Get Set To Pronounce Their Verdict
The Petitioner in the 2020 election petition, John Dramani Mahama has made an appearance at the premises of the Supreme Court this morning.
The 7-member panel presiding over the 2020 election petition is expected to deliver judgement today in the case which lasted about one month.
Mr Mahama is challenging the declaration of President Akufo-Addo as having won the 2020 election.
According to Mr Mahama, no candidate obtained more than 50%.
He is therefore praying the court for a re-run of the election between himself and President Akufo-Addo.
The Apex Court will put the matter to rest today by delivering its judgement.
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