Supreme Court dismisses December election petitioner’s motion
Accra, Feb. 07, GNA – The Supreme Court by a unanimous decision dismissed a motion filed by the petitioners for the court to order the Electoral Commission to produce copies of all the 275 collation forms and 26,002 pink sheets.
The court in its ruling said the petitioners in putting forward their case failed to convince them for it to exercise its discretion in the hearing of the matter.
The petitioners, Nana Akuffo Addo, the presidential candidate of the NPP and two others in their motion, had argued that the December 7 election results published by the EC from the 275 collation forms and the pink sheets from all the 26, 002 polling stations were public records.
The petitioners cited article 21 as the grounds for which they were requesting the Supreme Court to order the EC to produce the collation forms and the pink sheets.
They argued that under the 1992 constitution as citizens of this country they had the constitutional right to access public records.
However, Mr James Quarshie Idun, Counsel for the EC, who opposed the motion, argued that the petitioners already had copies of the collation forms and the pink sheets from their agents in the polling stations and constituencies during the last elections.
He said the judging principle in the matter that the court would have to look for was whether the request from the petitioners was necessary.
He argued that the petitioners like the other political parties in the December 7 elections were given copies of all the collation forms and the pink sheets.
The Supreme Court’s ruling which was read by Mrs Justice Sophia Adinyera on behalf of the nine member panel stated that though the court affirmed the right of the petitioners to information, Article 21 as used by the petitioners was rather lame on the issue.
The court subsequently dismissed the motion filed by the petitioners for the court to order the EC to produce those documents.
In a separate development, the Supreme Court by a unanimous decision has granted the application filed by the petitioners to amend their earlier petition filed at the court.
The court in giving the ruling also ordered the petitioners to give ‘further and better particulars’ with regard to the new amendments to the EC, President Mahama and the National Democratic Congress (NDC).
The court said the petitioners had two days to furnish the other parties in the petition with the new amendments and seven days to file their opposition to the respondent’s answers.
Meanwhile, the Supreme Court has also dismissed a motion by the NDC for ‘further and better particulars’ on paragraph 27 of the original petition.
The court said it had already ruled on the motions ‘further and better particulars’ by both the EC and President Mahama and that most of the reliefs being sought by them were the same as the NDC and also takes care of their application.
Mr Samuel Kodzo, Counsel for the NDC, who moved the motion, argued that if the court did not give separate orders with regard to their motion it would be difficult for them in the future to exercise their right to response to that application.
Meanwhile, Mr Tony Lithur, Counsel for President Mahama, has withdrawn its application for interrogatories with regard to the 4709 polling stations since the petitioners have made amendment to increase the figure to 11,000 polling stations.
He accordingly asked the court to withdraw the motion and they subsequently struck out the application with liberty to re-apply.