Tsatsu fails to convince Law Lords
Tsatsu Tsikata, lead counsel for the petitioner in the 2020 presidential election petition, John Dramani Mahama, yesterday put up a spirited argument to convince the Law Lords why their rejection of some 12 interrogatories served on the Electoral Commission (EC) was in error, but in the end lost.
The justices, in a unanimous decision, ruled against the petitioner, struck out three applications namely motion to stay proceedings pending the hearing of the review, an application for supplementary statement of case and the review of the court decision of declining interrogatories to be served on the EC, as the 1st Respondent.
Per the ruling of the nine-panel read by Justice Anin Yeboah, the grounds for refusing the application for the supplementary statement of case was because the rules governing review do not include such provision.
Justice Anin Yeboah said the panel’s reason for throwing out the application was because the motion failed to establish any exceptional ground for the administration of the questions that the petitioner wanted the 1st Respondent to answer.
According to His Lordship, the rules of the court set a threshold that an applicant has to satisfy for an application for review to be considered.
By this, His Lordship proceeded to say they had read the processes filed by counsel and the argument mounted from both sides, however, they were not satisfied because it did not meet the necessary requirements of Rule 54(a) of C.I 16 in order to succeed for an application for review of the ruling of the court dated January 19, 2021.
The panel, which had two additional members for the purposes of the review on that basis added that the application fails and it is accordingly dismissed.
The nine-member panel were; Justices Yaw Appau, Justice Marful Sau, Justice Professor Ashie Kotei, Justice Mariama Owusu, Justice Nene Amegatcher, Justice Gertrude Tokonor, Justice Henrietta Joy Abena Nyarko Mensa-Bonsu and Justice Amandu Tanko,
Meanwhile, Mr Tsikata argued that what Mr Mahama was seeking was not out of the ordinary or novel since same privilege was granted to the petitioner of the 2012/13 presidential election petition, adding that same precedent had been set in other jurisdictions like Nigeria, which Ghana’s SC cannot be different.
Supplementary Statement of case
Meanwhile, Mr Tsikata argued that supplementary statement of case should be allowed based on a precedent set by the court in subsequent cases even though the lords were of the view that some of the cases that he cited were appeal and not review.
Nevertheless, he said there were similarities between appeal and review requirements, especially regarding how appeals are launched, referring his lordships to the rules governing appeal, specifically rule 15 (6).
In respect of the argument raised, the law lords urged him to consider 15(11) but the lawyer insisted that what his application was seeking to do was not to amend but a supplement of case that was distinct from amendment because a supplement is meant to add to the statement of case while amendment is meant to change something in an application.
He said: “As supplement is concerned that is not an amendment but in respect of the supplement statement of case, that is distinct from amendment.”
The seven-member panel to hear the case tomorrow are Justice Anin Yeboah, Justices Yaw Appau, Justice Marful Sau, Justice Professor Ashie Kotei, Justice Mariama Owusu, Justice Nene Amegatcher, Justice Gertrude Tokonor.