Election Petition: Mahama to file witness statements today, Thursday

Former President John Dramani Mahama is expected to file his witness statements and affidavit for the election petition today Thursday January 21.

This comes after the Supreme Court has outlined five key issues it will make a determination on in the ongoing Presidential Election Petition.

The key issues outlined by the apex court include;

The 2nd Respondent Akufo-Addo for instances filed 3 issues which he wants the court to determine. They are:

1.Whether or not the Petition is incompetent and discloses no reasonable cause of action in terms of Article 64 (1) of the Constitution, 1992.

2.Whether or not the errors and alleged vote padding complained of by the Petitioner, granted same to be true, affect the outcome of the Presidential Election held on 7. December, 2020.

3.Whether or not there is a basis for Petitioner’s claim that neither Petitioner nor 2nd Respondent obtained more than 50 percent of the total number of valid votes cast at the Presidential Election held on 7th December, 2020.

Some of these were included in the five (5) issues set down by the Supreme Court, in addition to two others.

One of the issues has to do with “whether or not the alleged vote padding and other errors complained of by the petitioner affected the outcome of the Presidential Election results”.

The court adjourned hearing to Tuesday January 26.

Counsel for the petitioner Tsatsu Tsikata, told the Supreme Court on Wednesday that much as the court may want to stick to the timelines specified in C.I 99 for the adjudication of election petitions, it should not be done in disregard of justice.

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Tsikata was reacting to orders by the court for parties file their witness statements by 12 noon Thursday, January 21, a timeline the lawyer deemed too short.

According to him, the Supreme Court’s insistence of such a short timeline is not justified in law.

But the bench explained the modification of the law which culminated in C.I 99 requires the court to operate within strict timelines, a requirement the court cannot compromise.

The bench was also of the view that lawyers should have known that they will be required to file witness statements and that those should have been prepared ahead of time.

Dissatisfied Tsatsu Tsikata told the court, adherence to those timelines should not injure justice.

“Justice cannot be sacrificed for expedition”, he said.

But one of the lawyers of President Nana Addo Danbkwa Akufo-Addo, Mr Frank Davies dismissed claims by Mr Tsatsu Tsikata that justice should not be sacrificed for expedition.

Mr Davies said Justice delayed is justice denied.

Mr Frank Davies said “What is meant by sacrificing justice on the altar of expedition?

“Justice delayed is justice denied. So what is it?  They are just not ready. They were advocating for a live broadcast of proceedings and now everybody is seeing what is happening in court. Everyday lead counsel for the petitioners is making one complaint or the other.

“You cannot blame the failure of a bad farm on your tools of implementation. Your farm is your farm  and  it depends on how you cultivate it  so we should not ponder over this repeated rhetoric of  sacrificing justice for expedition.”

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By Laud Nartey|3news.com|Ghana

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