The Supreme Court has dismissed the application by the presidential candidate of the National Democratic Congress (NDC) in the 2020 election petition, which sought to ask it to grant leave for the Electoral Commission (1st respondent) to answer 12 questions regarding the declaration of the presidential election results.
Former President John Dramani Mahama, had filed two legal processes at the Supreme Court but at the court’s sitting Tuesday, the application was dismissed.
The application which was filed Monday [Jan 18, 2021], was moved by counsel for Mr Mahama, Mr Tsatsu Tsikata at the Supreme Court Tuesday morning (Jan 19).
Moving the motion, Mr Tsikata argued that the objective of the application was to “narrow down” the issues for the trial.
However, a seven-member panel of the court, presided over by the Chief Justice, Justice Kwasi Anin Yeboah dismissed the application with the view that the crucial issues of relevance had not been established by the petitioner.
The court explained that “reference was made to the 2013 [presidential election] petition in which an application for inter-locutories was granted by the Supreme 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 Petition,” the court said.
“Indeed, Rule 69 of the Supreme Court amendment in C.I. 99 directs the expeditious disposal of petitions and sets timeliness for this court to dispose off the petition.”
“It implies that even amendments brought here and granted as well as…, subsequent statutory amendments pointed out after the 2013 [presidential election petition], has provided us [court] with new procedural regime and strict timelines.”
“We are strictly bound to comply with C.I. 90 and therefore we will not apply Order 22 of C.I. 45 of 2004 in this circumstances.”
“We accordingly refuse to grant the application and same is accordingly dismissed,” the court said.
The court had earlier planned to move into the case management stage of the petition Tuesday morning before the new application came about and so after the decision was announced the court wanted to move into that matter.
But after the court announced its decision on the application, counsel for the petitioner, Mr Tsikata demanded a certified true copy of the decision to inform the petitioner the next line of action to take.
Lead Counsel for the 2nd respondent (Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo), Mr Akoto Ampaw prayed the court to move on with the case management stage arguing that counsel (Mr Tsikata) ought to have been prepared for that.
The court adjourned the case to Wednesday Jan 20, 2021.