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Election 2020

Election Petition: Supreme Court To Sit On Thursday As Akufo-Addo, EC Raise Preliminary Objection

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The Supreme Court of Ghana is expected to sit on Thursday, 14th January 2021 to hear a preliminary objection raised by counsels for 1st and 2nd respondents; Electoral Commission and President Akufo-Addo respectively.

In separate answers to the petition filed at the Supreme Court Registry Saturday, Jan 9, 2021, the two respondents described the petition as one that lacks merit, incompetent and does not raise any reasonable cause of action.

The two, apart from attacking the substance of the petition, have also raised a preliminary legal objection, arguing that the petition does not even meet the requirement of Article 64(1) of the 1992 Constitution.

It is the case of the two that the petition does not allege infraction in any of the election conducted at the 38,622 polling stations and 311 special voting centres.

Based on these, the respondents are praying the Apex Court to throw out the petition.

The Electoral Commission in its response to the petition have argued that it was “misconceived and untenable” for Former President Mahama in the petition, to rely on the error made by the Chairperson of the EC on December 9, 2020 , when she inadvertently mentioned the total number of votes cast as the total valid votes.

According to the EC, “The full results of the December 7 presidential election was known to the petitioner and that the claims in the petition are contrived, have no legal basis and ought to be dismissed.”

Source: GhanaFeed.Com

Election 2020

Supreme Court’s Ruling Against My Interrogatories Is A Miscarriage of Justice – John Mahama

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The National Democratic Congress (NDC) flagbearer for the 2020 polls, John Mahama, has argued that denying him the opportunity to serve interrogatories on the Electoral Commission (EC) will damage his election petition case at the Supreme Court.

Mahama’s concern is contained in his fresh application seeking to halt the election petition until the Supreme Court reviews it’s ruling on some 12 questions (interrogatories) he wants the Electoral Commission to answer.

The apex court in dismissing the interrogatories application said Mr. Mahama’s legal team failed to convince the court on the relevance of the questions.

In the application for a stay of proceedings, Mr. Mahama said he was compelled by “certain fundamental errors of law that the court made in its ruling leading to a miscarriage of justice.”

He said the denial of the chance to pose the interrogatories to the EC was “a serious miscarriage of justice which we expect to have remedied in the review.”

“At the hearing of this application, counsel will crave the indulgence of the Court to refer to the statement of case in support of the application for review, particular, to show that there are indeed serious matters of law that are to be determined in this review application, and I am likely to succeed, as the ruling of the court is manifestly in error.”

Though time has been noted as a concern in the case, Mr. Mahama further maintains that the “use of the mechanism of interrogatories will ensure a speedier trial.”

On why he wants the petition halted, Mr Mahama said there would be “irreparable harm” caused to his case because of the effect on pre-trial processes.

Source: CitiNewsRoom

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Election 2020

You Have Not Been Able To Prove That Your Application Is Relevant – Supreme Court Tells Tsatsu Tsikata

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The Supreme Court (SC) said the crucial issue of relevancy has not been established in the application in the determination of the motion filed by Former President John Dramani Mahama, the Petitioner in Election 2020 Petition.

The Petitioner/Applicant has prayed the Court to grant the application to serve interrogatories. The basis for the application as argued by learned Counsel for the Petitioner/Applicant was to assist the Court to narrow issues for the trial of the Petition.

A Seven-Member SC Panel Chaired by Chief Justice Anin Yeboah said interrogatories under Common Law was discretionary, it should be granted or refused when all the circumstances are taken into consideration.

Other members are Justice Y. Appau, Justice S. K. Marful-Sau, Justice N. A. Amegatcher, Professor N. A. Kotey, Ms Mariama Owusu and Mrs Gertrude Torkornoo.

It should be noted that the questions seeks to elicit answers to the issues raised by and the reliefs sought in the Petition.

It said interrogatories must be relevant to the issues and relate to the matters in controversy between the parties, in this case the Petitioner and the Electoral Commission, the First Respondent.

The Court said reference was made to the 2013 Election Petition titled: Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo and two others vrs President Mahama and two others [2013] SCGLR 50, in which an application to serve interrogates was granted by this Court.

However, subsequent to 2013, several statutory amendments have been made by Constitutional Instrument 99 of 2016 which has restricted the practice and procedure of this Court as regards Election Petition.

It said indeed, Rule 69 (c) (4) of the Supreme Court amendment Rules C. I. 99 directs the expeditious disposal of the Petition and sets timelines for this Court to dispose of the Petition.

It implies that, even amendments ought not to be sought and granted as well as joinder of parties. Subsequent statutory amendments pointed out after 2013 have provided us with new procedural regime and strict timelines.

The Court said; “we are strictly bound to comply with C. I. 99 and therefore we will not apply Order 22 of C. I. 47 of 2004 in this circumstance.

“We accordingly refuse to grant the application and same is accordingly dismissed,” it added.

The Court, then directed the parties to file the issues for determination.

Source: GNA

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Election 2020

You Committed Fundamental Errors Of Law In Interrogatories Ruling – Mahama’s Lawyers Tell Supreme Court Judges

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Documents filed by lawyers for 2020 NDC Presidential Candidate John Dramani Mahama describes a recent ruling of the Supreme Court as riddled with fundamental errors of law that has resulted in grave injustice.

Mr. Mahama who lost Ghana’s 2020 elections to Nana Akufo-Addo has filed an election petition at the Supreme Court seeking to have the results annulled.

He alleges Mr. Akufo-Addo benefited from vote padding and computational errors supervised and carried out by the Electoral Commission.

His lawyers asked that the Supreme Court allows the EC Chairperson to answer 12 questions. (Interrogatories).

Lead Counsel Tsatsu Tsikata said the interrogatories were critical as it would help the apex court determine the authenticity of the results that saw the NPP presidential candidate, emerging as the winner of the 2020 polls.

Among others, lawyers for the petitioner had asked that the EC answers if the National Communications Authority (NCA) played any role or facilitated in any way, the transmission of the election results to its headquarters.

Again, Mr Mahama wanted to know how the Chairperson of the EC, Jean Mensa, arrived at the figures she used in declaring candidate Nana Akufo-Addo as the winner of the 2020 presidential poll.

Giving its verdict on the motion, the Supreme Court held the view that Lawyer Tsatsu was relying on CI 47 while the current rule in force relating to the Supreme Court is the CI 99.

Also, the request requires the exercise of discretionary power that is granted when a case for relevance is made but since this has not been established hence the decision to dismiss the motion.

Source: MyJoyOnline

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