Ghanaian Chronicle

Supreme Court Fixes May 16 To Hear Motion

Date published: May 15, 2013

By Ivy Benson

jThe Supreme Court (SC) hearing the election petition filed to challenge the validity of the declaration of President John Dramani Mahama as winner of the December 2012 presidential election has fixed May 16, this year, to handle a motion placed before it for their attention.

The court, presided over by Justice William Atuguba, set a new date for the motion filed by the National Democratic Congress (NDC) and scheduled to heard yesterday, explaining that other respondents in the case had filed similar applications, and that it would be prudent to hear all at the same time.

The motion is intended for the court to grant the requests of President Mahama, the Electoral Commission (EC) and NDC, all respondents in the election petition, to call for the cross-examination of witness of the petitioners who had attested to some affidavits filed before the court as their evidence in the case.

Other panel members include Justices Julius Ansah, Sophia Adinyira, Rose Owusu, Jones Dotse, Anin-Yeboah, Paul Baffoe-Bonnie, Sule Gbadegbe and Vida Akoto-Bamfo.

Earlier on, Mr. Tsatsu Tsikata, counsel for the NDC, expressed dissatisfaction with the manner in which the petitioners had arranged certain data in connection with duplicate serial numbers, which resulted in the an early closure of the court the previous day.

According to Mr. Tsikata, the petitioners did not arrange the list in the manner that all the parties agreed on, and that the form on which the lists were provided would cause a delay, which was being avoided by the court.

The counsel further indicated that petitioners’ lists also included certain ones that had not been served on them.

LOn his part, Mr. Philip Addison, counsel for the petitioners, argued that all the information requested by the counsel for the NDC had been provided, even though the data had not been arranged according to what they had agreed upon.

Nonetheless, Mr. Tsikata continued with his cross-examination of Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia, who is the star witness for the petitioners in the case.

In his evidence, Dr. Bawumia affirmed that there were errors in terms of the mislabeling of the exhibits the petitioners brought before the court as evidence of alleged irregularities in the December 2012 presidential election, but argued that it did not amount to deceiving the court, since it would never affect the outcome of their analysis in any way.

He further confirmed that some exhibits presented before the court did not have exhibit numbers on the Commissioner of Oath’s stamp.

The witness told the court that the polling agents could not detect duplicated serial numbers in the conduct of elections, adding that the petitioners detected the alleged irregularities, which was in significant number, during their analysis of the election result.

The 2012 presidential candidate of the NPP, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, his running mate, Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia, and Party Chairman Jake Otanka Obetsebi-Lamptey are in court challenging the declaration of John Mahama as winner of the 2012 presidential election by the EC.

The petitioners have cited President Mahama and the EC as respondents in the case, however, the NDC was later joined in as a party to defend the allegations brought against its 2012 presidential candidate.

The petitioners are asking the court to annul 4,670,504 votes, representing votes cast in 11,916 polling stations across the country, for what they termed “gross and widespread irregularities” recorded during the December 2012 presidential poll.

Meanwhile, the petitioners have currently reduced the number of polling stations they are challenging to 11,136.

However, the respondents have denied the assertions of the petitioners, noting that the results of the election, as declared, were credible.

Sitting was adjourned to today, May 15, 2013.


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