The main opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC) has a bigger responsibility to prove their case in court after filing an election petition challenging the results of the December 7 elections, Ghana’s high commissioner to Canada, Nii Ayikoi Otoo, has said.
He said on the Key Points on TV3 Saturday January 2 that they will need to present an evidence to prove that no presidential candidate in the election crossed the 50+1 to win.
The Presidential Candidate of the NDC John Dramani Mahama on Wednesday December 30 filed a petition at the Supreme Court which seeks, among other things, a rerun of the presidential elections, asking the Court for an order to restrain Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, the Second Respondent, from holding himself out as President-elect.
Mr Ayikoi Otoo told host Abena Tabi that the reliefs being requested by the petitioners differ from the initial position they took prior to the filing of the petition.
“They are saying nobody crossed the 50+1. So they have a bigger responsibility in my view, to [prove]. They need to present the evidence,” he said.
The former Attorney General under the Kufuor administration added “The idea that was fed out to the public was that somebody has done something wrong and that we have won the presidential and parliamentary but if you read the petition there is a clear request for a rerun which is based upon the fact that constitutionally nobody crossed the 50+1 .
“That is a different ball game altogether compared with what we were hearing before the petition was filed.
“You should be bold to say that ‘I won the election, this person did not win the election but their style is different.”
Meanwhile, a private legal practitioner Martin Kpebu has proposed that the electoral laws should be amended to allow respondents in an election petition to be served electronically.
Mr Kpedu told Abena Tabi on the show that serving the parties electronically will help in adjudicating the matter within the time period set out under the new rules for the justices of the Supreme Court.
A new directive has been given to the justices of the apex court in Ghana to hear any election dispute within 42 days from the day it was filed.
In the last election petition hearing after the 2012 polls, it took the highest court of the land some nine months to arbitrate the petition.
After the 2020 elections, the Presidential Candidate of the National Democratic Congress (NDC) John Dramani Mahama filed a petition on Wednesday December 30, 2020 which seeks, among other things, a rerun of the presidential elections, asking the Court for an order to restrain Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, the Second Respondent, from holding himself out as President-elect.
Mr Kpebu said “If the parties and the court intend to insist on the time that have been allocated it will mean in practical terms we will go beyond 42 days . As we sit now since the president has not been served they can’t start.
“So it means that if it takes one week or seven days to serve the president, it means you have 42 + 7. If the judges want to give us 42 days then they may have to give up part of their time.
“Moving forward the next time we are going to have an election, there should be a column where we will say that the candidates should provide their email address for service in the event of an election petition so that electronically you can be served. I can’t imagine trying to get security clearance to go and serve him. It is ridiculous.”
By Laud Nartey|3news.com|Ghana