It is scandalous to claim that the justices of the Supreme Court had a predetermined agenda to rule against the petitioner in the ongoing election petition hearing, spokesperson of the lawyers of the 2nd respondent Kojo Oppong Nkrumah has said.
His comment comes after spokesperson of the lawyers of the petitioner Dr Dominic Ayine has said the justices of the Supreme Court of Ghana have a predetermined agenda to rule against the petitioner, Mr John Dramani Mahama.
Dr Ayine who is also lawmaker for Bolgatanga East accused the justices of doing a great disservice to the people of Ghana by dismissing an application of the petitioner to reopen his case.
Speaking to the media after court proceedings on Tuesday February 16, the former Deputy Attorney General said “I am surprised that the Supreme Court itself, having set out five key issues to be determined, is now reducing the issues to one which is whether and the extent to which the evidence that we have led shows that no one got more than 50% of the votes in accordance with Article 63 of the Constitution.
“But we have made abundantly clear in the petition that there were a number of infractions. We are contesting even the constitutionality of the declaration that was made. We are saying that she violated Article 23 of the constitution because she is an administrative body.
“We have also said her exercise of discretion was contrary to Article 296 of the constitution. These are all germane issues under the constitution and laws of Ghana. To reduce the petition in to a single issue petition is rather unfortunate and smack of a predetermined agenda to rule against the petitioner in this matter.”
He added “For the court to say that we were bound by law to make our evidence available for it to assess before allowing us to reopen our case is legally problematic proposition, therefore we disagree with the court.
“We think that the court by this decision has not done the people of this country a great service. In the sense that Ghanaians are interested in knowing the truth. Our constitution is very clear that justice emanates from the people and must be exercised in the name of and the welfare of the people.
“The justices today have not given us a reason to believe that they want the people of this country to know the truth about what happened.”
In a reaction to these comments, Mr Oppong Nkrumah who is also lawmaker for Ofoase Ayirebi and Information Minister-designate said “It is true that all the applications that have come before this court have fallen flat but how can it be that the petitioner’s communication team now argues that the seven justices or the nine justices are always wrong in law and only Mr Tsikata is the one who understands the law, knows the law and is therefore always right. It cannot be.
“The last time they won some arguments that some of their paragraphs or paragraphs of Mr Rojo Mettle Nunoo’s witness statement should not be struck out, you heard them right before you, that it was a monumental victory.
“We keep making the points that it is not fair to the judicial system, it is not fair to our democracy, it is not fair to the people of Ghana that when you lose an application because it is not grounded in law or because you have failed to meet the legal standards, then you come here and literally poison the minds of the public and make claims that they may be having a predetermined agenda.
“That is scandalous of the court. When you make a legal argument and it is upheld that one is good, when you make an argument and it doesn’t meet the threshold then it means that they are wrong in law or that they had a predetermined agenda.”
The Supreme Court has yet again dismissed another application of John Dramani Mahama, the petitioner in the ongoing election petition hearing.
According to the Court, the petitioner, inter alia, has not adduced enough evidence, or an inkling of that, to convince the bench for the case to be re-opened.
Reading the ruling on Tuesday, February 16, Presiding Judge Justice Kwasi Anin-Yeboah said even at the time the application was filed, the petitioner as well as the respondents had closed their cases.
He said the petitioner is not entitled to an application of that nature as a matter of right, an argument he adduced through Counsel Tsatsu Tsikata on Monday, February 15.
Chief Justice Anin-Yeboah, who is also Ghana’s Chief Justice, said such application can be granted by discretion.
“That discretion is, however, one which should be exercised per rules and with restraint as a motion to reopen necessarily involves a balancing of the accountability of counsel for the decisions regarding prosecutions of this case and the interest of justice.
“Accordingly, we weighed the propriety of re-opening proceedings to permit additional evidence to be led or tendered and Court will typically consider three broad questions. Will the evidence, if it had been presented during the trial, have had any influence on the result? [The second question is] could the evidence have been obtained before beginning trial by the exercise of reasonable diligence?”
In tabling his argument on Monday, February 15 for the bench to grant his application for the case to be re-opened, Mr Tsikata said the Chair of the First Respondent, Jean Adukwei Mensa, would have been subpoenaed to appear as a hostile witness.
This the Court found “baffling”, according to Justice Anin-Yeboah.
He, therefore, concluded: “We find no merit or so why the petitioner in his application to reopen his case for the sole purpose of compelling his adversaries’ intended witness to testify through a subpoena without indicating the sort of urgency he intends to solicit from the said witness and how that evidence is going to help the Court in resolving the dispute before us.
“We accordingly refuse the application and proceed without any hesitation to dismiss it.”
By Laud Nartey|3news.com|Ghana