Mahama’s legal team delaying hearing process for media spectacle – Oppong Nkrumah

Spokesperson for President Akufo-Addo’s legal team in the ongoing election petition hearing at the Supreme Court Kojo Oppong Nkrumah has insisted that lawyers for the petitioners are deliberately delaying the hearing, with objections.

The Ofoase Ayirebi lawmaker had made similar remark on Tuesday January 19 after the hearing on that day.

After hearing on Wednesday January 20, Mr Oppong Nkrumah explained to journalists that “On the first day that we came, our colleagues from the other side started off with an interrogatory application asking for leave to go and amend [their petition]. Therefore, they started delaying the 42-day clock that was initially stated.

“We had the opportunity to comeback earlier this week and the afternoon before we appeared in Court, they filed another interrogatory application which you all saw took us almost two hours and the Court dismissed.”

“So it was expected that we go back to case management which is what we should be doing now. Every lawyer knows that by now, when you are coming to Court for case management. First, your Memorandum of issues must be drafted.

“Second, you should have drafted your witness statement. So these matters become procedural. But because our colleagues are seeking to delay the process and get a media spectacle ongoing for some months, all they are doing is antics in the courtroom, seeking to delay the time.”

Meanwhile, a spokesperson for the lawyers of the petitioners Marietta Brew Appiah-Oppong, has said that every objection that lawyers for the petitioners have raised in the case are grounded in law.

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Speaking to journalists after the hearing on Wednesday January 20, Madam Marietta Brew Appiah-Oppong who is also a former Attorney General under the Mahama administration said “Every objection that we have raised is grounded in law and is justified. You are all witnesses to the argument made by lead counsel yesterday.

“Those arguments sounded like they were just a ploy to delay the case but they were grounded in law except that the petitioner has interrogatories to serve on the respondents.”

The Supreme Court on Tuesday January 19 dismissed an application by the petitioner which demanded that the 1st Respondent, the Electoral Commission (EC) answers some questions ahead of the substantive matter.

The court, presided over by Chief Justice Kwasi Anin Yeboah, in a unanimous decision dismissed the application for interrogatories allowing for the substantive matter to be heard.

The court on Wednesday outlined five key issues it will make a determination on in the ongoing Presidential Election Petition brought before it by presidential candidate of the National Democratic Congress (NDC) in the 2020 Presidential Election, John Dramani Mahama.

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.

  • 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.
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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”.

By Laud Nartey||Ghana