Nine Justices of the Supreme Court of Ghana today presented an interesting and landmark Ruling on an Application by NDC to join the Electoral Dispute against Electoral Commission (EC) and President John Mahama.
At the end of the day, NDC won the Application by 6-3 majority decision. Despite the fact that the Majority view carried the day, one of the Justices who was part of the minority, Justice Baffoe Bonney presented a very brilliant Ruling that attracted a prolonged applause in the court by NPP lawyers and party Executives. Justice Baffoe Bonnie, Justice Anim Yeboah and Justice Julius Ansah dissented with stated legal reasons. Justice Baffoe Bonnie contended that he is still not convinced that the Application is necessary. He said NDC legal team failed to convince the court that they are a necessary party to the suit, and that without them the court would not be able to determine the case.
The learned Judge contended further that without the joinder the case can still proceed successfully. He said when joinders are allowed, the contention is that controversies in the matter would be cleared, but he was quick to add that these depends on the particular case in question.
He said the Electoral Commission alone could take care of the case, adding that it has the highest stake in this case. The minority stressed that the law allows only individual citizens to sue, so it is only fair that only individuals are sued and not political parties.
Based on these and on other grounds the three (3) Justices dissented. The majority Justices also made equally interesting and convincing ruling which many observers have described as a fair ruling.
Interaction with some law students, and lawyers indicated that the majority decision is a masterpiece.
The majority consist of Justices Vida Akoto Bamfo, Rose Owusu, Sophia Adinyirah, William Atugubah, (presiding judge), Justice S.O. Gbadegbe, and Jones Dotse.
The learned Judges cited precedents from local and international sources. They sometimes cited famous legal pronouncements by the legal Luminary Lord Denning – all time legal Don. It is the case of the majority that NDC sponsored John Dramani Mahama to contest 2012 Elections so NDC has vested interest and should join the suit to defend it’s interest.
They also quoted portions of Article 55 (3), to buttress their points. The majority Judges noted that the outcome of the substantive case will affect NDC so it is only fair they are joined to the suit. The judges also offered many other reasons to support their stand.