The Supreme Court of the Republic of Ghana, following the the Petition Laws and Rules, has outlined stages and timelines to determine judgement on any petition filed against election irregularities.
This comes in accordance with the 1992 constitution and the C.I 127 for the conduct of the December 2020 Presidential and Parliamentary elections.
The five (5) key stages and timelines as outlined are;
1. Filing of petition: Twenty-one (21) days after election results have been declared (presidential)/ gazetted (parliamentary), individuals are allowed to file Petition at the Supreme Court.
2. Respondents filing of answers: Respondents have ten (10) days after being served to file their answers to the petition filed by the Petitioner at the Supreme Court.
3. Pre-trial: At this stage, the parties to the case meet with judges to decide the details of the trial. This process begins within two (2) days after answers are filed.
4. Trial of petition: The case will be heard by the Supreme Court for six (6) days after which the court adjourns.
5. Judgement: The court adjourns to consider legal arguments and evidences presented. After which the verdict must be given within forty-two (42) days from the date petition was filed by any Petitioner.
On Wednesday, 30th December, 2020, the 2020 Presidential Candidate of the National Democratic Congress (NDC) John Dramani Mahama (Petitioner) has filed a petition at the Supreme Court challenging the outcome of the 2020 Presidential election results.
As the Election Petition Laws and Rules allow amendment, the Petitioner has on 8th January, 2021 filed a motion to amend his Petition.
The Respondents thus; Electoral Commission (1st respondent) and Nana Adoo Dankwa Akufo-Addo (2nd respondent) have duly filed answers to the petition at the Supreme Court on January 9, 2021.
According to the stages and timelines, motion to amend the petition and other pretrial hearing will be done on 14th January, 2021.
On 15th January, 2021, hearing on the petition by Supreme Court will commence. The hearing will end on January 20, 2021 to pave way for the court to consider legal arguments and evidences presented.
By February 20, 2021, the Supreme Court is expected to give verdict within 42 days from the date petition was filed by any Petitioner. Note that, this may may be subject to change based on the hearing on January 14, 2021.
John Dramani Mahama’s petition to the Supreme Court challenging the Presidential election results
Electoral Commission’s (1st respondent’s) answer to John Dramani Mahama’s petition
Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo’s (2nd respondent’s) answer to John Dramani Mahama’s petition.