The Supreme Court presided over by the Chief Justice, Justice Kwasi Anin Yeboah has on Wednesday, 20th January, 2021 sat on John Dramani Mahama’s election petition challenging the December 2020 general elections. This marks the third petition hearing at the Apex Court.
The Supreme Court has also set out 5 issues for the determination of the Presidential Election case.
Hearing today commenced at exactly 9:35am. The Petitioner was represented by Mr. Johnson Asiedu Nketiah. When the matter was called by the Court, Petitioner’s Counsel were absent. The Court asked Mr Asiedu Nketiah about the whereabouts of his lawyer and he said he was at the registry of the Court. Counsel for the Respondents therefore proceeded to announce themselves following which Counsel for the Petitioner who had then appeared before the Court apologised for being late and announced himself.
Counsel for the petitioner informed the Court that they had just filed for a review of the ruling of the Court on the application to serve interrogatories on 1st Respondent. They had also just filed their memorandum of issues.
The Court recessed to consider the issues filed and set down the modalities for the hearing of the petition. The Petitioner proposed twelve (12) issues while the 2nd Respondent proposed three (3) issues.
Return From Recess
The Court returned from recess at 10:55am and issued out the following orders.
1. The issues for the trial were as follows (paraphrased):
a. Whether or not Petitioner’s petition discloses a reasonable cause of action?
b. Whether or not based on the statement of results by the EC, the 2nd Respondent crossed the threshold in article 63?
c. Whether or not the 2nd Respondent by the exclusion or inclusion of the Votes in Techiman constituency crossed the threshold in article 63(1)?
d. Whether or not the alleged case of voting padding affected the results of the 2020 elections?
e. Whether or not the declaration of 9th December, 2020 breached article 63 of the 1992 constitution?
2. Mode of trial: Petitioner is to file witness statements or exhibits if any, by Thursday, 21st January, 2021 and the Registrar is to ensure service on Respondents.
Respondent to Respond by 22nd January, 2021 and the Registrar should serve same that day.
3. Respondents to file their submission on preliminary objection by Friday 22nd January, 2021 and Petitioner to respond by Monday, 25th January, 2020.
4. Hearing: Hearing of the matter shall commence on 26th January, 2021 and the decision on the preliminary objection shall be incorporated in the final judgment.
After the orders by the Court, Counsel for Petitioner submitted that they had filed a review application on the ruling and that could impact the issued but the Court responded that a review application was not a stay of proceedings hence the matter could proceed while the review is heard especially when the Court is operating under strict timelines based on the provisions of the law.
The Court also cautioned Dr. Dominic Ayine to avoid making offending gestures to the Court from the gallery since he is not even a member of the Petitioner’s legal team as announced in Court.
Counsel for the Petitioner further sought to suggest that the court was being unfair with its timelines on witness statements but the Court also intimated that as petitioners, they are expected to be ready since they intimated they intended to file five witness statements and the Respondents were also being given the same time.
The Court adjourned the matter to Tuesday, 26th January, 2021.