Draw Lessons From Kenyan Case…NPP Tells Supreme Court

In the wake of the quick resolution of the Kenyan electoral dispute in three weeks by their Supreme Court, the opposition New Patriotic Party (NPP) have also urged the Supreme Court of Ghana to show some level of urgency to the petition…

…filed by Nana Akufo-Addo, his running mate, Dr. Mahamamudu Bawumia and the party’s Chairman, Jake Obetsebi Lamptey, challenging the 2012 Presidential results which declared President John Mahama as the winner.

Speaking in an interview with The New Crusading GUIDE in direct reference to the manner in which the Kenyan judiciary dealt expeditiously with their electoral dispute, the Communications Director of the NPP, Nana Akomea stated that “it is a little embarrassing that after three months we haven’t even started hearing the substantive case as filed by the petitioners.”

He said, even the Kenyan Attorney General at a point during their hearing had cause to make fun of the delays in the Ghanaian process.

The Kenyan Attorney General, Githu Muigai speaking during one of the court sittings stated “As my Lords are aware, as we speak here today the Supreme Court of Ghana is sitting on the election dispute relating to their election which was undertaken in December and they are slower than we are and I think we should take a little credit for the sort of enthusiasm that this court has brought to a timeous disposal of this matter.”

Nana Akomea further emphasized the need for the Supreme Court to disentangle the petition from the grips of unnecessary delays and maneuvers and also to take some cue from the alacrity with which the Kenyans Supreme Court dispensed justice on that crucial case.

In his reaction to National Democratic Congress’ (NDC) claims that the NPP’s petition will go the same way as did the Kenyan’s in favor of the one who was pronounced winner at the end of election, the Communications Director of the NPP stated briefly in a rhetorical manner that “if the NDC says our petition will go the way like the Kenyans, why are they employing all kinds of tricks to delay the case by parading over 300 people as witnesses?”

In a related development, the Executive Secretary for the West Africa Network for Peace Building (WANEP), Emmanuel Bombande has also called on Ghanaians and the country’s judiciary to learn from the process the Kenyan Supreme Court used in ruling on the election petition in that country.

Mr. Bombande maintained that although the two election petitions were not the same, Ghanaians can learn from the peaceful way Kenyans received the ruling.

Meanwhile, The Supreme Court will resume sitting on Monday to resolve, consider and adopt issues to be raised by lawyers in the petition challenging the legitimacy of President John Mahama.

Lawyers for the parties met on Monday March 19, 2013 following a directive from the court advising them to meet, deliberate and arrive at issues to be set out for trial and determination, but that agreement could not be reached by the parties.

Following the communication of the deadlock to the registrar of the Supreme Court on March 19, 2013, the registrar in a letter dated March 25, 2013 fixed todat as the date for the court’s next hearing.

Under the procedures of the court, the legal teams for the petitioners and the respondents are expected to officially announce the areas they agreed on and those they did not.

The court will then consider the issues disagreed upon and arrive at a solution before beginning hearing of the substantive case.

Following that, a memorandum of issues would then be set out for trial.

Key among the memorandum of issues to be set out for trial are whether or not persons were allowed to vote without biometric verification and whether or not votes cast in 11,916 polling stations should be annulled by the court.