The Petitioner in the 2020 election dispute, John Dramani Mahama, is expected to release his response to the Supreme Court judgement on the election petition at 5:00 PM today
The seven-member panel presided over by Chief Justice Anin-Yeboah, said the petition challenging the declaration of the NPP presidential candidate Nana Akufo-Addo as the winner of the polls, failed to meet the legal threshold.
The court pointed out that the petitioner, John Mahama, failed to provide any evidence to prove that the declaration by the EC boss Jean Mensa was rigged with errors.
Addressing the media after the ruling on Thursday, March 4, Director of Legal Affairs for the NDC, Abraham Amaliba disclosed that former President Mahama would not react immediately.
“We all heard the judgement delivered by the Supreme Court. Unfortunately, we’re unable to address you now. We shall, however, address you through our flagbearer at 5 PM at his office,” he said.
Details of the ruling
The CJ was of the view that the Petitioner’s team led by Tsatsu Tsikata has not presented any data to counter the figures announced by the EC Chairperson on December 10, 2020, as total valid votes.
In the judgement read, citing various authorities, the CJ said if the petitioner’s team had presented figures to prove that the New Patriotic Party presidential candidate Nana Akufo-Addo did not meet the legal threshold, all the reliefs sought would have been granted.
The Chief Justice further said the testimonies of the three petition witnesses (NDC General Secretary Johnson Asiedu Nketiah, representatives in the EC strong room, Dr Michael Kpessa-Whyte and Robert Joseph Rojo Mettle-Nunoo), were of no relevance to the petition.
The three witnesses, according to the panel, failed to prove to the court the said illegalities that characterised the December 7 election.
According to the panel, the representatives of the NDC flagbearer in the EC strong room basically neglected their duties to oversee happenings in the National Collation Centre.
It was the view of the court that once the representatives signed the regional collation sheets, there was no basis for the complaints.
Justice Anin-Yeboah also mentioned that the evidence before the court confirms that the second respondent Nana Akufo-Addo indeed satisfied the 51 per cent threshold as per the constitution, with the exclusion or inclusion of the Techiman South results.
In effect, the Petitioner failed to provide evidence to show that the NPP candidate did not meet the 50 plus benchmark.
Why Mahama is in court
The petition filed by the flagbearer of the opposition National Democratic Congress, John Mahama, challenged the 2020 election results, which was declared in favour of the New Patriotic Party (NDC) candidate Nana Akufo-Addo.
Former President Mahama said none of the 12 presidential candidates attained the 50 plus one mark for the Electoral Commission (EC) to declare a winner.
Although the EC said the NPP candidate got 51.59 per cent of the votes against Mahama’s 47.37 per cent, the petitioner insists that was not a true reflection of the December 7 polls.
Among other things, Mr Mahama wants the court to set aside the declaration made by EC Chairperson Jean Mensa on December 9, 2020.
He also urged the court to declare as “unconstitutional, null and void and of no effect whatsoever, of the results declared on the said day”.
Mr Mahama further wants the court to order the Electoral Commission to organise a rerun between him and the NPP presidential candidate, Nana Akufo-Addo.
The respondents in the case (Electoral Commission and Nana Akufo-Addo) decided not to present any witness to testify in court.
The apex court was compelled to decide on the matter based on the three persons who testified on behalf of the petitioner.
The three persons were the NDC General Secretary Johnson Asiedu Nketia, the two representatives of Mr Mahama in the EC strongroom Dr Michael Kpessa-Whyte and Robert Joseph Rojo Mettle-Nunoo.
Reliefs sought by Mr Mahama
(a) A declaration that Mrs Jean Adukwei Mensa, Chairperson of the first respondent and the Returning Officer for the Presidential Elections held on December 7, 2020, was in breach of Article 63(3) of the 1992 Constitution in the declaration she made on December 9, 2020, in respect of the Presidential Election that was held on December 7, 2020
(b) A declaration that based on the data contained in the declaration made by Mrs. Jean Adukwei Mensa, Chairperson of the first respondent and the Returning Officer for the Presidential Elections held on December 7, 2020, no candidate satisfied the requirement of Article 63(3) of the 1992 Constitution to be declared President-elect
(c) A declaration that the purported declaration made on December 9, 2020 ‘of the results of the Presidential Election by Mrs. Jean Adukwei Mensa, Chairperson of first Respondent and the Returning Officer for the Presidential Elections held on December 7, 2020, is unconstitutional, null and void and of no effect whatsoever
(d) An order annulling the Declaration of President-Elect Instrument, 2020 (C.1. 135) dated December 9, 2020, issued under the hand of Mrs. Jean Adukwei Mensa, Chairperson of first respondent and the Returning Officer for the Presidential Elections held December 7, 2020, and gazetted on December 10, 2020
(e) An order of injunction restraining the second respondent from holding himself out as President-elect
- f) An order of mandatory injunction directing the first respondent to proceed to conduct a second election with Petitioner and second respondent as the candidates as required under Articles 63(4) and (5) of the 1992 Constitution.
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