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Election Petition: Mahama’s eight unanimous defeats at the Supreme Court

John Dramani Mahama, the Petitioner in the ongoing Election Petition has lost all Rulings by the seven justices, as well as nine justices on review sometimes, unanimously on applications that he prayed the court for.

The respective counsel for the 1st and 2nd Respondents opposed the Petitioner’s applications anytime it was made known to the court.

According to the Respondents, the Petition filed before the Supreme Court by the Petitioner lacks merit, therefore, they did not allow their witnesses to testify.

The seven Justices hearing the Petition are Chief Justice Kwasi Anin Yeboah, Justices Yaw Appau, Marful Sau, Nene Amegatcher, Prof. Kotey, Mariama Owusu, and Gertrude Torkonoo.

On occasions when there were review applications, the following Justices joined the regular seven justices to rule on the application. The Justices are Amadu Tanko (all three occasions) and Prof Henrietta Mensa Bonsu (twice) and Avril-Lovelace Johnson (once).

Supreme Court rulings:

The applications filed by the Petitioner which were dismissed are:

  1. Inspection of documents of the EC

An application by lawyers for John Mahama to inspect the documents of the Electoral Commission was dismissed by the court on February 3, 2021.

In his reading of the verdict, Chief Justice Kwasi Anin-Yeboah stated that “the proceedings so far show that the petitioner has copies of the documents which were the subject of the instant application.

“We are of the view that no proper case has been laid before us to warrant the exercise of our discretion in favour of the applicant,” the CJ declared.

“Order 29 of C.I. 47 which is the basis of this application should not be read in isolation, it should be read in conjunction with Rule 11 of the said Order.”

He added that Section 166 of the Evidence Act 323 of 1975 “makes it clear that a duplicate of a document is admissible to the same extent as the original unless a genuine question is raised as to the authenticity of the duplicate. No issue has been raised against the authenticity of the document in possession of the applicant.”

  1. Interrogatories application for the EC to answer 12 questions

Another application by John Mahama which was rejected by the court was seeking leave of the court to ask the chairperson of the EC some twelve questions.

The application was filed on Monday, 18 January 2021 by the counsel for John Mahama.

Moving the motion on Tuesday (date), Mr Tsikata argued that the objective of the application was to “narrow down” the issues for the trial. The court, however, rejected the request on grounds that the lawyers failed to prove the relevance of the interrogation to the substantive case.

“Interrogatories under Common Law is discretionary, it should be granted or refused when all the circumstances are taken into consideration. It should be noted that the questions seek to elicit answers to the issues raised by and the reliefs sought in the petition. Interrogatories must be relevant to the issues and relate to the matter in controversy between the parties, in this case, the petitioner and the 1st Respondent.

“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,” parts of the court’s ruling read.

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