A private legal practitioner, Martin Kpebu, says the 42-day timeframe for the delivery of the Supreme Court’s final verdict on the 2020 presidential election dispute may be extended in the event of unforeseen circumstances.
The extension, according to him, may be as a result of a limited time available for the Apex court within which they are to resolve all post-election concerns.
“Today is the 20th day since the case started, and we have 42 [days for the verdict] so it means that we have 22 days to go, we don’t have much time left and frankly speaking, by now the trial should have started because from day 15 we should have started, so you see that we have lost some time,” he stated.
The new Supreme Court (Amendment) (No.2) Rules, 2016 (C.I. 99) was enacted into law by Parliament in 2017.
Per Rule 69C (4) of C.I. 99, the pre-trial of the petition shall be on the 10th day after the filing of the petition, with hearing commencing on the 15th day and ending on the 21st day respectively after the filing, while judgment will be on the 42nd day.
Mr Kpebu observed that “the judges have 21 days to retain their verdict [but] now that we are on day 20, the days for the trial are over, so inevitably, the judges will give part of their time to the parties to conduct their actual hearing.”
The private legal practitioner opined that judgement can be pronounced after a deadline especially if the process is prolonged.
“If at the trial, it turns out that a very critical issue of evidence comes out so much that the trial has to go a bit outside the 42 days, that should not cause an alarm.”
Meanwhile, Ghana’s Supreme Court held its second hearing for the case between the flagbearer of the NDC today begin hearing on the election petition brought before it by the National Democratic Congress’ (NDC) flagbearer for the 2020 presidential elections.
John Mahama in the Apex court is asking that the court annuls the election results and allows a run-off between himself and the New Patriotic Party’s (NPP’s) Nana Akufo-Addo.