The Supreme Court yesterday dismissed a motion filed by the lawyers of John Dramani Mahama in the election petition case, seeking to compel the Chairperson of the Electoral Commission (EC), Mrs Jean Mensa to admit to errors in the declaration of the 2020 presidential results.
Mr Mahama’s lawyers led Mr Tsatsu Tsikata filed the application to force the EC Chair to provide answers to some 12 interrogatories or written questions even before the trial of the substantive case.
This was after the 2020 presidential candidate of the opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC) filed his petition at the highest court of the land, seeking an annulment of the Presidential election results and a re-run of the polls between him and Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, second Respondent who was declared the winner by EC’s Chairperson Mrs Jean Mensa.
However, the seven-member Justices of the apex court empanelled to hear the case unanimously dismissed the application, insisting the interrogatories were irrelevant to the case as they were not captured in the original petition.
The Supreme Court chaired by Chief Justice Anin Yeboah further stated that the provisions and case law quoted by Mr Tsatsu Tsikata in support of the application were overtaken by a new statute, Constitutional Instrument (C.I 99).
CI 99 does not permit parties in a presidential election petition to introduce fresh matters that are not captured in an original petition to the apex court.
Among the information Mr Mahama’s legal team was seeking, included, whether the results of the 2020 presidential polls were transmitted and the level of involvement of the National Communications Authority (NCA) in the transmission of the presidential results.
In opposition, lawyers for both EC and President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, 1st and 2nd Respondents respectively, argued that Mr Mahama and his legal team were using the “back door” to seek further information from the EC that were not captured in their petition.
Mr. Akoto Ampaw, lead lawyer for President Akufo-Addo, described the application as a “fishing expedition”.
On his part, EC’s lawyer Justin Amenuvor submitted that the questions asked were already answered in the response of the 1st Respondent and therefore should not be entertained through the “back door”.
After dismissing Mr Mahama’s application, the Supreme Court asked the lawyers to assist in providing the way forward for speedy trial of the substantive case.
Obviously not satisfied with the outcome, Mr Tsatsu Tsikata insisted he needed a copy of the ruling for him to determine the issues for consideration in the case on Thursday.
But Mr Akoto Ampaw argued that Mr Mahama’s lawyers should be ready by now for the case and therefore a request for more time is to unnecessarily delay the case.
Consequently, the Supreme Court directed that all the parties should file their issues for consideration before court sits for case management by 9:30am today.
The interrogatories application was requesting the EC through its Chairperson, Mrs Jean Mensa within three days from the service to admit that the declaration of the Presidential Election results, on December 9, 2020, was broadcast live on radio, television and other electronic media.
It also wanted the EC through its Chairperson to admit that it made no other declaration in respect of the Presidential Election results of December 7, 2020.
Furthermore, the application wanted among others to admit that while making the declaration of the Presidential Election results of December 7, 2020, on December 9, 2020, the “total number of valid votes cast was 13,434,574 representing 79 per cent of the total registered voters”.
It also wanted the EC to admit that while making the declaration of the Presidential election results of December 7, 2020, on December 9, 2020, it stated that President Nana Akufo-Addo, who is the Second Respondent in the Election Petition obtained 6,730,413 votes, representing 51.595.per cent of the total valid votes cast.
“That Mrs Mensa the Chairperson of the EC, the First Respondent, gave a figure of 128,018 as the voter population of Techiman South Constituency,” it added.
According to the motion, adding the voter population of Techiman South Constituency to the total valid votes of 13,434,574 valid votes announced by Mrs Mensa, the Chairperson of First Respondent, amounted to total valid votes of 13,562,592.
The motion indicated that the Second Respondent’s votes as announced by the Chairperson of the First Respondent in the declaration of December 9, 2020 – 6,730,413 – amounted to 49.625 per cent of 13,562,592.
That when the percentages of the valid votes cast and standing to the names of each of the Presidential Candidates as announced by Mrs Mensa, the Chairperson of First Respondent, on December 9, 2020, are summed up, they would yield a total of 100.3 per cent.