Election Petition: Here are 4 applications by John Mahama thrown out by the Supreme Court

The National Democratic Congress (NDC) and its presidential candidate in the December 7, 2020 general election, former President John Dramani Mahama are currently at the Supreme Court challenging the presidential results of the general election.

John Mahama and some NDC officials at the Supreme Court

Mr. Mahama is appealing to the court to annul the results that led to the declaration of Akufo-Addo as president, and subsequently organize a second round of election since no candidate garnered the 50 percent plus 1 as required by the constitution to become president.

Though the case is at its concluding stages, it has been full of 'drama' and legal maneuvering between the parties.

The petitioner, John Mahama, has faced a lot of obstacles throughout the trial with so many applications to help his case thrown out by the apex court.

We, at Pulse Ghana, therefore, chronicle 4 of the major applications that have been quashed unanimously by the Supreme Court.

1 . Application for interrogatories: Earlier on in the trial, the petitioner through its lead counsel, Tsatsu Tsikata applied to court to serve the first respondent, the Electoral Commission with interrogatories.

He asked the court to grant leave for the Electoral Commission (1st respondent) to answer 12 questions regarding the declaration of the presidential election results.

But in a unanimous decision, the court dismissed the application with the view that the crucial issues of relevance had not been established by the petitioner.

The court said: "The Court is of the opinion that the crucial issue of relevancy has not been established in this application. Reference was made to the 2013 Election Petition titled: NANA ADDO DANKWA AKUFO-ADDO & 2 ORS VRS JOHN DRAMANI MAHAMA & 2 ORS [2013] SCGLR 50, in which an application to serve interrogatories was granted by this court. However, subsequent to 2013, several statutory amendments have been made by C.I. 99 of 2016 which has restricted the practice and procedure of this Court as regards Election Petitions."

2 . Application for review of decision on interrogatories: The petitioner once again filed an application for a review on the dismissal of the interrogatories.

According to him, the apex court “breached some fundamental errors of law” by dismissing the application hence the need for it to review its decision.

But in a 9-0 decision, the court dismissed the application. The court held that the threshold required to enable it to review its decision has not been met.

Chief Justice Kwasi Anin-Yeboah explained that no exceptional circumstances have been demonstrated to necessitate the review powers of the court neither has any new evidence been added to urge the court to take a different view.

3 . Application to inspect EC's documents: John Mahama had filed an application at the Supreme Court on Tuesday, February 2, 2021, seeking to be granted permission to inspect some documents of the Electoral Commission.

This was after a motion submitted to the EC was denied. Lead Counsel for the petitioner, Tsatsu Tsikata had explained that the documents will give more basis to the argument by Mr. Mahama hence the move to compel the court to force the EC to comply with their request.

The court in a unanimous decision turned down the request. The seven-member panel in its decision read by Chief Justice Anin Yeboah stated that the applicant has not denied having copies of the documents being requested.

The judges say no new evidence has been given by the petitioner to warrant the court granting the application for the original documents to be handed over to the petitioner.

4 . Application to reopen case and subpoena EC Chairperson: The apex court on Monday, 15th February 2021 heard arguments from lawyers of the petitioner seeking to reopen its case and on the other hand were lawyers for the 1st respondent and the 2nd respondent who strongly opposed the application.

The seven member panel of the Supreme Court sitting on the petition ended the argument for a subpoena to be served on the EC boss.

"A mere filing of a witness statement is not an election to testify", Justice Anin Yeboah said.

He continued: "As we’ve already indicated in this ruling supra, the petitioner in this application has not given us an inkling of the new or fresh evidence he wants to bring to the fore through the Chairperson of the first respondent and how that evidence could assist the court to do justice to the matters under consideration in this petition. Neither has he disclosed how that evidence will advance the cause of his petition. For the above-stated reasons, we find no merit or favour in the petitioner’s application to reopen his case for the sole purpose of compelling his adversaries’ intended witness to testify through a subpoena without indicating the sort of evidence he intends to solicit from the said witness and how that evidence is going to help the court in resolving the dispute before us. We accordingly refuse the application and proceed without any hesitation to dismiss it".

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