Prez Akufo-Addo & EC plead with Supreme Court: Throw Out Mahama; His petition is incompetent & frivolous
The first and second respondents in the election petition filed by former President John Mahama, who was the flagbearer of National Democratic Congress (NDC) in the 2020 presidential election, the Electoral Commission (EC) and Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo of the New Patriotic Party (NPP) have described the suit as frivolous, incompetent and has no merit.
The two respondents are thus praying the apex court to dismiss the suit.
Mr Mahama is in court seeking a re-run of the presidential election, following what he says is a flawed poll.
In his suit, Mr Mahama asserted that upon a careful assessment of the results, as announced by the 1st Respondent who was the Returning Officer for the election, 2nd Respondent, Akufo-Addo did not obtain the over 50 percent votes declared in his favour.
Meanwhile, lawyers for the two respondents, Justin Amenuvor for the EC and Akoto Ampaw, for President Akufo-Addo, both filed their respective responses on Saturday, January 9, 2021, at the Registry of the Supreme Court.
The respondents, through their lawyers, intend to raise a preliminary objection to the petition to the claims made by the petitioner.
In his argument, the 2nd respondent, Nana Akufo-Addo, indicated: “The reliefs claimed by Petitioner, particularly reliefs (b), (c), (d) and (f), which purport to declare as unconstitutional the declaration of the results of the presidential election by 1st Respondent, and consequently claim an order for annulment of the Declaration of President-Elect Instrument, 2020 (CI 135), are not supported by facts pleaded in the petition.”
The 2nd Respondent further states: “…paragraphs 6 through to 30 of the petition recount allegations of mathematical errors contained in parts of the declaration made by Chairperson of 1st Respondent (EC), and that at law, a challenge of the declaration of results of an election does not amount to an attack on the validity of an election.”
The 2nd respondent further states that “The petitioner has not, in the petition, challenged the validity of the elections conducted throughout the 38,622 polling stations and 311 special voting centres in the country, and has therefore not challenged the lawfulness of the election.
“It said the petitioner’s allegation of “vote padding,” assuming same to be valid, is a meagre 5,662 votes, which cannot affect the outcome of the election, and that in the circumstances, the petition is incompetent, frivolous and vexatious, and discloses no reasonable cause of action in terms of article 64(1) of the Constitution.”
The EC, on its part, maintains that it complied with the processes and producers laid down for the conduct of the 7th December 2020 general elections.
The First Respondent argues that in a bid to enhance transparency and public participation in the electoral process, it published all the Regional Election Summary Sheets (Form 12) on its website. “That the results of the 7th December 2020 Presidential Election, as declared on 9th December 2020, did not breach the Constitution and that the petition has no merit whatsoever,” the respondent said.
The EC further states: “The petition ought to be dismissed, also because petitioner does not challenge the validity of the election conducted throughout all the 38,622 polling stations and the 311-special voting centres in the country, or contest the lawfulness of votes obtained by any of the parties to the election.”
It continued: “…Petitioner has failed to indicate the exact number of votes and percentages that he or the other candidates ought to have obtained in comparison to the number of votes and percentages declared by 1st Respondent.
“The 1st Respondent (EC) accordingly raises a preliminary legal objection to the petition as being incompetent and not, as required by Article 64(1) of the Constitution and Rule 68(1) of the Supreme Court Rules, 1996 (C.I. 16) as amended, amounting to a challenge to the validity of the presidential election conducted by the 1st Respondent (EC) on 7th December 2020.”
By Maxwell Ofori & Bernice Bessey