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Nana Akufo-Addo duly elected President…SC affirms as it unanimously throws out Mahama’s challenge

Nana Akufo-Addo duly elected President…SC affirms as it unanimously throws out Mahama’s challenge

Nana Akufo-Addo duly elected President…SC affirms as it unanimously throws out Mahama’s challenge

By a unanimous decision, the Supreme Court yesterday affirmed that President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo was duly and validly elected President of Ghana in accordance with Article 63(3) of the 1992 Constitution.

The court held that President Akufo-Addo, who contested on the ticket of the New Patriotic Party (NPP) in the 2020 presidential election, satisfied the requirement of Article 63(3) which provides that a candidate in an election must obtain 50 plus one of the total valid votes cast.

The seven-member panel of judges, presided over by the Chief Justice, Justice Kwasi Anin Yeboah, said former President John Dramani Mahama who challenged the declaration by the Chairperson of the Electoral Commission (EC), Mrs Jean Adukwei Mensa, of President Akufo-Addo as the winner of the 2020 presidential election had failed to provide any credible evidence that neither him nor the President won the 2020 presidential election.

President Mahama’s counsel, Mr Tsatsu Tsikata, had told the court the declaration of President Akufo-Addo as the winner of the 2020 presidential election was unconstitutional because the data which the EC used to declare him the winner was wrong.

He further contended that the subsequent correction of figures contained in a press release issued on December 10 was also unconstitutional, void and of no effect.

 

However, in the judgement which lasted about two hours, the judges said the petition was unmeritorious and dismissed it.

The Supreme Court said the EC had the right to make corrections to errors it made in the declaration and that it was absolutely wrong for the petitioner to hold on to the error made by the EC to make the claim that neither of the two leading candidates won the election.

It was the considered opinion of the judges that even the star witness of President Mahama, Mr Johnson Asiedu Nketia, the General Secretary of the National Democratic Congress (NDC), admitted under cross-examination that President Akufo-Addo passed the threshold of more than 50 per cent of total valid votes cast.

Per the evidence on record, the court held that the errors made by Mrs Mensa in the declaration could not take away the valid votes of the people.

Mahama’s witnesses

The Chief Justice stated that of the three witnesses of the petitioner, only the evidence of Mr Nketia had relevance to the issues set down for determination of the petition.

Concerning the two other witnesses, Messrs Dr Michael Kpessa-Whyte and Joseph Rojo Mettle-Nunoo, the court said the least said about them, the better.

The court further held that testimonies of the two other witnesses were fanciful as the evidence they gave was based on what transpired at the collation centre.

The court stated that in spite of the contention of the two witnesses, they signed 13 out of the 16 regional results.

Additionally, the court stated that Mr Mettle-Nunoo and Dr Kpessa-Whyte were not obliged to leave the national collation centre, even if, as they claimed, they were tricked by Mrs Mensa to go and seek audience with the petitioner regarding some alleged errors and anomalies.

In his statement of case, the former President asked the court for six reliefs, three in the nature of declaration of order.

He wanted the court to declare that the EC was in breach of Article 63(3) in the declaration of December 9, 2020, a declaration that none of the candidates satisfied the requirement of Article 63(3), an order annulling the declaration, an order of injunction restraining President Akufo-Addo from holding himself out as the President of Ghana and an order of mandatory injunction directed at the EC to conduct a fresh election.

Issues for Determination 

The issues set down for determination were whether or not the December 9 declaration violated Article 63(3)  whether or not the inclusion of the Techiman South Constituency results affected the outcome of the election, whether or not the petition disclosed reasonable cause of action, and whether or not the alleged vote padding affected the validity of the election.

Both counsel for the EC and President Akufo-Addo, Mr Justin Amenuvor and Mr Akoto Ampaw raised preliminary legal objection and urged the court to summarily dismiss the petition.

However, the court stated that it was convinced the petitioner raised reasonable cause of action, noting that the allegation of vote padding, if proved, could affect the outcome of the election.

Regarding the claim that neither of the candidates obtained 50 per cent plus one vote, the court said the evidence on record shows that the 13,434,574 which the petitioner relied on in his petition was declared in error.

The court noted that the correct figure was 13,121,111 and that a computation of the figure showed President Akufo-Addo still crossed the constitutional threshold.

About vote-padding and wrong aggregation of votes, the court expressed the view that even if those allegations were true, they could not have materially affected the declaration.

EC’s Argument 

It was the case of the EC that the petitioner failed to raise reasonable causes of action.

The EC did not call any witness to adduce evidence when the petitioner closed his case, but asked the court to determine the case based on the totality of evidence before it.

President Akufo-Addo’s Argument

Counsel for President Akufo-Addo, Mr Ampaw described the petition as frivolous, incompetent and vexatious.

He argued that the petitioner relied on innocuous mistake of total votes cast rather than the total valid votes cast.

Background
Former President Mahama has urged the Supreme Court to annul the results of the December polls, as none of the candidates who contested the election obtained the required 50 per cent plus one constitutional threshold to be declared the winner of the 2020 presidential election.

Mr Mahama was also asking the apex court for an order of injunction restraining Nana Akufo-Addo from holding himself out as President-elect.

In his response, counsel for President Nana Akufo-Addo, Mr Akoto Ampaw described the petition as incompetent, devoid of substance and did not measure up to the legal criteria or an action invoking the jurisdiction of the apex court under article 64(1) of the Constitution, 1992.

He said the petition was merely conjectural and born out of the petitioner’s unfounded imagination, and that the material facts in the petition did not support the reliefs being sought.

For its part, the EC said it admitted that in reading out the results on December 9, 2020, its Chairperson inadvertently read out the figure representing the total number of valid votes cast as the figure representing the total number of valid votes, and the percentage of the second respondent as 51.59 per cent instead of 51.295 percent.

Again, the EC stated that on December 10, 2020, it made a correction and clarification of the results declared on December 9 through a press release, but added that the correction and clarification did not affect the overall results as declared.

source: www.spotonnews.net

Written by Joyceline Natally Cudjoe

An Entertainment Columnist, Content Writer, Blogger, Novelist, Poet, and a Publicist. For business or story tip off, contact me on +233 24 646 6866 or email: spotonnews.net@gmail.com