The presidential candidate of the National Democratic Congress (NDC), former President John Dramani Mahama, filed a motion to the Supreme Court (SC) for the live telecast of the hearing of the Election Petition, but before his application could be heard, the court said that arrangement had already been made.
In fact, before Mr Mahama and his lawyers – Tsatsu Tsikata and Tony Lithur – arrived in court to move the motion, the Ghana Broadcasting Corporation (GBC) had already setup its equipment to telecast live feed from the court to the general public.
The seven-member panel, presided over by Chief Justice Anin Yeboah, at the preliminary hearing yesterday, told former President John D. Mahama’s lead counsel, Mr Tsikata, whilst about to address the court on the motion, that the apex court had already made the arrangement for the live feed of its proceedings on national television.
Mr Tsikata, unclear with the information received from the court, enquired how that decision was reached without first hearing the application, but Justice Anin Yeboah helped the astute lawyer by reiterating that the apex court is permitted to make certain exceptional decisions.
Former President John Mahama’s request for live telecast was, in the interest of fairness granted, as in the 2012 election petition.
Mahama’s leave to amend petition granted
The panel, which has Justice Samuel Maful-Sau, Justice Yaw Apau, Nene Amegatcher, Prof. Nii Ashie Kotey, Gertrude Torkornoo and Mariama Owusu as members, granted the former President leave to amend errors in his application.
The petition is challenging the validity of President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo as the winner of the December 7, 2020 presidential election.
The application to amend the petition was equally challenged by the Electoral Commission (EC) (1st respondent) and President Akufo-Addo (2nd Respondent), but the court granted the motion.
Hitherto, Mr Akoto Ampaw, lead counsel for President Akufo-Addo, argued that the court should deny the writ because the petitioner should not have committed such a mistake, since relief (f) is asking the court to order a rerun between Mr Mahama and the Electoral Commission.
Meanwhile, Relief (f) is also seeking “an order of mandatory injunction directing the first respondent to proceed to conduct a second election with the petition and the first respondents as the candidates, as required under Articles 63 (4) and (5) of the 1992 Constitution.”
The court said the petition was not a writ and as a result gave the petitioner and his lawyer up to 4:00pm local time Thursday, January 14, 2021, to file the amended the application, while the respondents are to do same with their responses today, Friday.
The Supreme Court has slated Tuesday, January 21, 2020 to start the pre-trial of the petition, which Mr Mahama praying the court for the annulment of the presidential election result, and a re-run of the election between him and the 2nd Respondent.
His argument is that none of the 12 presidential candidates obtained the 50 per cent plus one, as required by the Constitution, for one to be declared winner.
The 1st Respondent (EC) was represented by the Chairperson of the Electoral Commission (EC), Mrs Jean Mensa, while Mr Peter Mac Manu, New Patriotic Party (NPP) Campaign Manager, stood in for the 2nd Respondent, President Akufo-Addo.
Others accompanying Mr Mac Manu include Henry Nana Boakye, NPP National Youth Organiser, and Kojo Vincent Oppong Nkrumah, former Information Minister.
Mr Mahama, on the other hand, had in his company his Spokesperson, Joyce Bawah Mogtari, the NDC National Chairman, Mr Ofosu Ampofo, Mrs Marietta Brew Appiah-Oppong, former Minister of Justice and Attorney General, and others.
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