Supreme Court not a place for rehearsed theatricals – Frank Davies to Mahama’s lawyers

Spokesperson for the President’s legal team in the ongoing election petition hearing at the Supreme Court, Mr Frank Davies, has told lawyers of the petitioners that the Supreme Court is not the forum for organized, rehearsed and choreographed theatricals and drama.

He said it is a place for real hard, and serious  legal work.

Mr Davies said also that the apex court has been very tolerant with the petitioner, Mr John Dramani Mahama.

His comment comes after the court ordered the petitioner in the ongoing Presidential Election Petition, John Dramani Mahama, to file his witness statements and arguments in response to the preliminary objection raised by the respondents latest by Wednesday, January 27.

The court also expressed dissatisfaction with the conduct of the petitioner and warned it will take appropriate actions against him if he fails to comply with the order to file the witness statements and arguments by the given deadline.

These actions, the court said could include the dismissal of the petition.

The court ordered during its last sitting on Wednesday, January 20, that all parties file their witness statement by Thursday noon, an order the counsel for the petitioner, Lawyer Tsatsu Tsikata contended was too short a time.

The petitioner had also filed a motion seeking a review of the ruling the court gave on the petitioner’s earlier application for interrogatories, but that motion was not granted.

Between the last sitting and today, the petitioners again filed a motion insisting on a review of the court’s ruling on the interrogatories and also to amend paragraph 28 of the original petition as well as add to it.

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The court adjourned the case to Thursday January 28.

Speaking to the media after proceedings, Mr Frank Davies said “The language used by my good friend Tony Lithur, (a lawyer for the petitioner) this morning was a bit offensive. To say that an application before the court has been predetermined is rather unfortunate coming from  my good friend, of course a very senior member  of the bar. But the court did not take it kindly to that.

“As it is now, the court has been gracious and very lenient to the petitioner because he has been given another opportunity to correct the wrong.

“The petitioner has been ordered to file his witness statements by close of day tomorrow which is Wednesday. The petition has been adjourned to the 28th of January for hearing which is Thursday.

“We are all legal practitioners, the Supreme Court is a very busy place. The Supreme Court is not the forum for organized, rehearsed and choreographed theatricals and drama . It is a place for real hard, and serious  legal work.

“It is not for flying of literature   and dull English devoid of any legal merit. I want to advise  my colleagues from the other side  that if  it hasn’t been broken,  don’t attempt to fix it .We are ready for them  on Thursday.”

But reacting to his comments also in an interview with the media, spokesperson for the petitioner’s lawyers, Dr Dominic Ayine said “I want to record our disappointment with respect to the language used this morning by senior member of the bar and former  President of the Greater Accra Regional , Mr Frank Davies .

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“The language that he employed  this morning  is unacceptable  in describing  the actions of the petitioners  lawyers as  theatricals , in describing us as  persons who  intend to  be intransigent and  disobedient to the orders of the court .

“I am sure that Mr Frank Davies knows that all the applications that we have brought are within the framework of the law . You are journalists, please do a bit of research. Read CI 99  and please tell us where in  the CI99  that it is said that you don’t bring an application  for a stay of proceedings . Tell us where in CI99  it is said that you cannot  bring an application for  interrogatories  and tell us where in CI99  it is stated that  as a petitioner  you cannot bring  interrogatory application  before the court . These are all mechanism that legal; practitioners can deploy and we have employed them in a way that is not abusive  of pour rights  within the framework of  the Supreme Court rules.

And so for him to have employed that language  is most  unacceptable  and we take exception to what  he said this morning.”

He further dismissed claims that then petition is frivolous.

“We also wish to make it clear that this is far from being  frivolous and vexatious  petition that  His Excellency John Dramani Mahama  has filed. The Impression being created by the NPP  is that  we came to court with a frivolous  and empty petition  and we are just seeking to engage  in theatricals  so that the petition will not be heard. HE John Dramani Mahama is far from being such a person.”

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By Laud Nartey||Ghana