President Akufo-Addo’s lawyers in the ongoing Election Petition hearing at the Supreme Court have asked the court to dismiss the stay of proceedings application filed by lawyers of the petitioner, Mr John Dramani Mahama asking the court to discontinue the hearing.
Lawyers of Mr Akufo-Addo described the application as baseless, for which it should be dismissed.
Mr Mahama asked the court to hold on with the hearing following an application for a review that he filed after the Supreme Court dismissed his earlier motion that was seeking to ask the Electoral Commission (EC) to answer some key questions.
Mr Mahama wanted the Commission’s Chair Jean Mensa to admit, among other things, that the figures and percentages she announced come to 100.3% instead of 100%.
The presidential candidate of the National Democratic Congress (NDC) also wanted her to admit that the subsequent correction of results in statements issued by the EC is different from what candidates obtained as captured in the summary of results sheets published by the EC.
But the Supreme 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.
On Wednesday January 20, lead counsel for the petitioners, Tsatsu Tsikata applied for a review of the ruling.
Following that, he has filed a stay of proceedings until after the application of the review has been heard.
“My Council has also served a request to admit Facts on 1st Respondent and has not yet received a response to that.
“The Request to Admit Facts is necessary for the finalization of our witness statement. Yet the Orders made by the Court on 20th January 2021 require us to file witness statements by noon on 21st January 2021.
“All the above constitute exceptional circumstances on the basis of which we respectfully seek Orders of the Court staying proceedings in this case until the determination of application for review.
“Not to stay proceedings would create the unfortunate impression that the review application has been predetermined.”
However, lawyers of Mr Akufo-Addo said in an affidavit against the application that: “there is no merit whatsoever in the application for stay of proceedings, as the interrogatories that Petitioner sought to serve on [the EC] were either totally irrelevant to the determination of the Petition or not in respect of issues in controversy arising from the pleadings.
“The application for review has absolutely no chance of success and can therefore hardly be a basis for seeking to stay proceedings in this Court pending the disposal of same.”
They further described the application as a “calculated attempt to frustrate the determination of the Petition in a just and expeditious manner.”
Instead of complying with the statutorily prescribed timelines, Petitioner’s legal team is misleading the public that 20th January 2021, was only the 2nd day of the pre-trial timetable. In the circumstances, it lies ill in the mouth of Petitioner to be suggesting that justice is being sacrificed on the altar of expedition.”
“It is untenable for Petitioner having filed his Petition as far back as 30th December 2020, to claim on 20th January 2021, that he is unable to file his Witness Statements without 151 Respondent’s response to his request to admit facts, interrogatories, and notice to inspect documents. Indeed, the substance of the Petitioner’s witness statements should have been known to him prior to filing the Petition.”
By Laud Nartey|3news.com|Ghana