The petitioner in the 2020 election petition today suffered another setback from the 7-member panel at the Supreme Court.
Mr John Dramani Mahama, who is in court to challenge the results of December’s polls as declared by the Electoral Commissioner had an application dismissed by the apex court.
This will be the third time an application brought before the court by his lead counsel Tsatsu Tsikata has been dismissed since the start of the case barely a month ago.
The applications, as presented by Mr Tsikata to the court are crucial to the petition and will ensure a fair determination of the case.
During today’s hearing, however, the Court denied a request by Mr Mahama to inspect some documents in the EC’s custody. Explaining its decision, the seven-member panel stated that as stipulated by law, copies of the documents being requested were given to every candidate who participated in the 2020 general elections (the petitioner included).
According to their ruling, the applicant has so far failed to demonstrate that he has no copies of the documents in question. Additionally, the proceedings so far shows that Petitioner has all the copies of the documents, the subject of this application.
Consequently, the judges held that “no proper case has been made to warrant the exercise of their discretion in favour of the applicant”.
Today’s ruling brings the tally of dismissals of various applications brought before the court by the petitioner to 3. This has caused many to question the future of the petitioner’s case in court.
The Court first dismissed former President Mahama’s motion which sought permission to elicit answers to some 12 interrogatories from the Electoral Commission (EC). It indicated that counsel was relying on CI 47 while the current rule in force relating to the Supreme Court is the CI 99.
The Apex Court subsequently dismissed an application filed by the petitioner asking it to review its decision to disallow him from asking the EC some 12 questions. The court was of the view that the threshold required to enable it to review its decision has not been met.
Reacting to this, the Spokesperson for the petitioner’s legal team, Marietta Brew Appiah-Oppong maintains that the petitioner still as a strong case despite the odds against them.
She stressed that “Irrespective of the fact that our applications have been refused, we came to the court prepared and we are ready to continue with the case. And we will go through with the case till the very end.”
Already, Mrs Appiah-Oppong has bemoaned the fact that the petitioner is being denied a fair hearing due to the dismissal of certain applications pertinent to their case.
She noted that the adjudicators were not providing a comprehensive explanation for their rulings – a cause of concern for them.
“…Our application was refused. Now it is unfortunate that these rulings that are coming out of the court are so short. In the past, especially in 2013, we had detailed reasons behind rulings on why applications were either granted or refused. That has not happened this time.
“Now, when you examine or listen to the ruling of the Court, the only reason they gave is that the rules do not allow for it. So if the rules do not allow for it, why has it been permitted in the past?” She asked.
However, in delivering their ruling, the judges, citing legal references, explained that so long as the authenticity of the documents in question – of which the petitioner has a copy – is not in doubt, they find no merit in upholding their request for the Electoral Commission to produce the originals.
The case was subsequently adjourned to Friday February 5, 2021.
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