Supreme Court dismisses interrogatories filed by Mahama against EC
Supreme Court has dismissed a motion filed by the lawyers for the Presidential candidate of the National Democratic Congress (NDC), John Dramani Mahama in the election petition case to serve interrogatories on the Electoral Commission (EC).
Leading lawyer of the NDC, Tsatsu tsikata was seeking to compel the EC to provide answers to some 12 key questions known in legal parlance as “interrogatories.”
In law, interrogatories are a formal set of written questions propounded by one litigant and required to be answered by an adversary in order to clarify matters of fact and help to determine in advance what facts will be presented at any trial in the case.
Some of the information Mahama’s legal team was seeking answers to include the manner in which the results of the 2020 presidential polls were transmitted and the level of involvement of the National Communications Authority (NCA) in the process.
But both the lawyers for the Electoral Commission, Justin Amenuvor and President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo contended that Mr Tsikata was using the “back door” to seek further information from the EC that were not captured in their petition.
He explained that most of the questions were not in contention and have either been answered by the EC or is information that Mr Mahama is well aware since he deployed agents across the country.
Giving its verdict on the motion, the Supreme Court held the view that Lawyer Tsikata was relying on CI 47 while the current rule in force relating to the Supreme Court was the CI 99.
Also, the request required the exercise of discretionary power that is granted when a case for relevance is made but since this has not been established hence the decision to dismiss the motion.
The seven-member panel of Judges hearing the petition includes Chief Justice Anin-Yeboah; Justices Yaw Appau, Marful Sau, Professor Ashie Kotei, Mariama Owusu, Nene Amegatcher, and Gertrude Tokonor.
Mr Akoto Ampaw, the lawyer for President Akufo-Addo, described the application as a “fishing expedition” and tagged it as unnecessary.
The Supreme Court in a unanimous decision dismissed the application.
According to the apex court, the interrogatories were irrelevant to the case.
It however set tomorrow, Wednesday, January 20, 2021, for case management.
The legal representation for Mr Mahama includes Tony Lithur led by Tsatsu Tsikata, while Lawyer Justin Amenuvor and Lawyer A. Asamoah are the lawyers for the Electoral Commission of Ghana who is the 1st Respondent; and Akoto Ampaw with Frank Davies, Kwaku Asirifi, and Yaw Oppong represent the 2nd Respondent who is President Akufo-Addo.
The National Democratic Congress’ (NDC) flagbearer, John Dramani Mahama petitioned the Supreme Court to order a second round of the December 7, election.
According to the former President, the votes obtained by New Patriotic Party (NPP) candidate, President Nana Akufo-Addo and himself in the December 7, election as declared by the EC Chair were not enough to be declared winner.
In his petition to the Supreme Court, Mr Mahama said, “The claim that percentage of votes obtained by the 2nd Respondent [Nana Akufo-Addo] was 51.595per cent [6,730,413] of the total valid votes that she distinctly stated to have been 13,434,574 was a manifest error, as votes cast for 2nd Respondent would amount to 50.098per cent and not the 51.595per cent erroneously declared.”
He said the 1st Respondent in her December 9 declaration said the NDC candidate obtained 6,214,889 being 47.366per cent of the valid votes.
“From the total votes cast of 13,434,574, petitioner’s percentages would reduce to 46.260per cent and not the 47.366per cent erroneously declared.
“The percentage attribute to all but one of the other candidates by Mrs Jean Adukwei Mensa were all incorrect,” he said.
The former President argued that if all the valid votes for all the candidates who contested the election are put together, it would total “13,121,111, a figure that, he said was completely missing from the purported declaration by Mrs Jean Mensa on December 9, and the purported rectification on December 10.”
Mr Mahama said the percentage of all the valid votes for the 12 contesting candidates “would yield a total of 100.03per cent,” thus rejected the result.
This he said was a “mathematical and statistical impossibility, a further proof of the wrongfulness and unconstitutionality of the purported declaration.”