Ghana’s apex court begins hearing of president’s election win

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A panel of judges at Ghana’s Supreme Court will open a hearing on Thursday into legal challenges filed by the main opposition leader against the outcome of December’s presidential polls.

A hearing date had fixed Thursday, January 14 as the date to begin hearing of the filed petition in the country’s capital Accra.

The National Democratic Congress (NDC) and its candidate, former president John Mahama, are challenging the re-election of President Akufo-Addo of the ruling New Patriotic Party.

Local and international observers said the election was free and fair but was tarnished by deadly violence.

An outright rejection of the results by Mahama triggered protests and mudslinging from supporters of the NDC.

Mr Akufo-Addo’s lawyers and that of the Electoral Commission (EC) have since filed responses to the petition.

They contend that the petition does not disclose any attack on the validity of the election held in 38,622 polling stations across the country.

They also claim the allegations of vote padding involving some 6,622 votes is empty and insignificant to materially affect the outcome of the election.

The respondents have, therefore, served notice of an initial objection to being raised urging the apex court to dismiss the petition and are calling for a date to be fixed for the legal arguments.

Accra-based Joy FM reports that Mr Mahama’s lawyers are asking to be allowed to correct errors in the petition.

A key issue to be corrected is a request that the Supreme Court allows the NDC Presidential Candidate to go into a run-off with the EC instead of NPP’s Nana Akufo-Addo.

Meanwhile, Lawyers for President Nana Akufo Addo who say they are set for the hearing has served notice of opposing a motion filed by the NDC’s flagbearer asking the apex court to allow him to amend an error in the petition he filed.

“The petition is incompetent, frivolous, vexatious and discloses no reasonable cause for action,” a member of the NPP’s legal team Frank Davis told Joy FM.

But a member of the NDC’s legal team, Abraham Amaliba questioned the basis for objection by the President’s legal team adding that “any lawyer will tell you that these are matters that are common.”

“To have the lawyers of Akufo-Addo who are well-experienced to say that they will oppose it – on what grounds. This is not an amendment that is going to substantially change the grounds of our petition,” Mr Amaliba added.

Source: Daily Mail GH

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