The Supreme Court has set 26 January 2021 to begin hearing of the 2020 election petition after a showdown in court on Tuesday.
The seven-member panel has set out five issues for determination in the 2020 presidential election petition filed by the presidential candidate of the National Democratic Congress (NDC), Mr John Dramani Mahama.
A determination of the five issues by the court will enable the court come to a conclusion as to whether or not the petition has any merit.
However, prior to announcing the five issues, the lead counsel for Mahama, Tsatsu Tsikata, clashed with the judges, concerning timelines to file witness statements.
“Justice cannot be sacrificed for expedition,” Tsikata declared when the judges insisted they are working with timelines hence he needs to comply with the order to file his witness statement by close of 21 January 2021.
Mode of trial
The Apex court has also set timelines and mode of trial for it to hear the petition.
The five issues include:
- whether or not the petition discloses any cause of action – that is if there is any legal grounds for the petition,
- whether or not the second respondent [Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo] met the Article 63 (3) threshold of the 1992 Constitution – this constitutional provision states that a presidential candidate must obtain more than 50 per cent of the total valid votes cast to be declared as President-elect,
- whether or not the 2nd respondent [Nana Akufo-Addo] still met the Article 63(3) of the 1992 threshold by the exclusion or inclusion of the Techiman South constituency presidential election results.
Other issues are:
- whether or not the declaration by the first respondent (EC) on December 9 of the presidential election conducted on December 7 was in violation of Article 63(3) of the 1992 Constitution,
- whether or not the alleged vote padding and other errors complained of by the petitioner affected the outcome of the presidential election results of 2020.
Meanwhile, the return date for the review filed by lead counsel for the petitioner is January 28, 2020.
The timelines outlines and enumerated by the panel are as follows;
The petitioner and witness shall file witnesses statements with exhibits if any by the noon of Thursday, January 21, 2020.
The witness statement shall be served on the counsel the for the respondent by the close of Thursday January 21.
The respondents and the witnesses if any shall file their witness statement with exhibits if any by the close of the day on Friday “, January 22, 2020
a. The first and second respondents shall file submissions on the preliminary objections raised to the petition by 12 noon of January, 22.
b. The registrar shall ensure service of submission by close of Friday, January 22.
c. The petitioner shall file any response to the submission of the preliminary objection by Monday, Jan 25.
d. The registrar shall ensure service of the petitioner’s response by close of Monday, January 25
e. Ruling on he preliminary objection will be incorporated in the final judgement of the court.
Source: Daily Mail GH with additional files from Daily Graphic