Former Deputy Attorney General, Dr Dominic Ayine has questioned the independence of the judiciary due to the manner the Supreme Court adjudicated the 2020 election petition.

According to him, the Supreme Court’s failure to apply the rules of procedure as well as the consistent and continuous dismissal of petitioner’s applications or reliefs are the basis of his assertion.

“Adjudication is the process of accountability. So for me, it is okay to dismiss an application brought by a petitioner for one relief or the other whether substantive or procedural.

“But it is another thing to fail to apply the rules of procedure in a manner that enhances the accountability process. So at the end of the day, the petition actually dampened my hopes with respect to the independence of the judiciary and its ability to hold the Electoral Commission, in particular, accountable in election petitions,” he stressed.

The Bolga East MP was part of the panel at a CDD-Ghana Roundtable Discussion on ‘Presidential Election Petitions and their Impact on Africa’s Democracy’.

Mr Ayine who was a member of John Mahama’s legal team that challenged the 2020 election results, noted that one of the things he found disturbing as a lawyer was the lack of reason offered by the apex court for dismissing the petition.

He added that he expected the Supreme Court to be more faithful to legal precedent and also to be more open in the application of the law for the purposes of holding the Electoral Commission accountable.

“I expected the Supreme Court to apply faithfully the rules of procedure to – in terms of adducing evidence – prove the petitioner’s case and so on. What we saw was a Supreme Court that was constantly putting hurdles in the way of the petitioner in terms of adducing evidence to prove the petitioner’s case.

“I am sure for ordinary Ghanaians or the electorate generally, the fact that the Supreme Court judges – all nine of them – on almost every application was unanimous in rejecting and dismissing the case of the petitioner was very telling in terms of the open-mindedness or otherwise of the Justices as far the petition was concerned and for me as a Lawyer,” he added.

He said the fact that the notice to admit fact was filed and served on the petitioner and the court went silent on it, is very telling about the independence of the judiciary.

Dr Ayine added that irresistible inferences can be drawn from “the conduct of the case about the independence of the judges”.