Lawyers for John Dramani Mahama, the Petitioner in the ongoing Presidential Election Petition, incurred the wrath of the Supreme Court Panel adjudicating the matter on Tuesday, January 26th, resulting in the panel serving notice of its intention to dismiss the election.
This follows remarks by Counsel for the Petitioner, Tony Lithur that the team has not filed its witness statements as directed by the panel at the last sitting because of substantive issues before the court.
The Supreme Court, which had set today to commence the hearing, ordered the petitioner (Mr. Mahama), to file his witness statements by Thursday, January 21, this year.
But at today’s sitting, Lawyer Lithur told the court that his client has filed a stay of proceedings along with an application for the apex court to review the earlier decision by the court to dismiss his leave to serve the 1st Respondent, Electoral Commission (EC) some 12 interrogatories.
However, his explanation for their inability to go by the court’s directives did not sit down well with the panel.
Thus in a rare display of anger, the seven-member panel of Judges hearing the petition – Chief Justice Anin-Yeboah; Justices Yaw Appau, Marful Sau, Professor Ashie Kotei, Mariama Owusu, Nene Amegatcher, and Gertrude Tokonor – expressed dissatisfaction with the conduct of the petitioner and warned it will take appropriate actions against him if he fails to compile with the order to file the witness statements and arguments by the given deadline of Wednesday, January 27.
The court was specific in some of the actions it could take; including the dismissal of the petition.
Meanwhile, the case has been adjourned to Thursday, January 28.
At its last sitting on the petition, the apex court fixed January 26 for the hearing to begin after setting out five issues for determination in the matter.
The issues include whether or not the petition discloses any cause of action; whether or not, based on the data contained in the declaration of the second respondent (President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo) as President-elect, no candidate obtained more than 50 percent of the valid votes cast, as required by Article 63 (3) of the 1992 Constitution; whether or not the second respondent still met the Article 63(3) of the1992 Constitution threshold by the exclusion or inclusion of the Techiman South Constituency presidential election results.
The rest are whether or not the declaration by the first respondent (Electoral Commission) on December 9, 2020 of the results of the presidential election conducted on December 7, 2020, was in violation of Article 63(3) of the 1992 Constitution, and whether or not the alleged vote padding and other errors complained of by the petitioner affected the outcome of the 2020 presidential election results.
The determination of the five issues by the court will enable it to come to a conclusion as to whether or not the petition has any merit.
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