ELECTION Petition: Supreme Court Sets Two Issues For Trial … Witnesses To Give Evidence Via Affidavits

The Supreme Court has set two issues for trial in the presidential petition filed by Nana Akufo-Addo of the New Patriotic Party (NPP), 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.

The parties involved in the petition failed to determine the memoranda of issues on their own hence the Supreme Court on Tuesday narrowed the issues down to two.

The issues set by the highest court of the land include whether or not there were statutory violations, omissions, irregularities and malpractices in the conduct of the elections held on December 7 and 8, 2012.

The court is also to ascertain whether or not the said violations, omissions, irregularities and malpractices affected the outcome of the results of the elections.

The mode of trial is still being discussed.

The court has meanwhile ruled that witnesses will have to give evidence in the form of an affidavit and where necessary, applications for cross examination can be made and determined on merit.

The Chairman of the panel of judges hearing the election petition, Justice William Atuguba gave the directive during a sitting to settle the memoranda of issues.

The three petitioners claim gross and widespread irregularities took place in 11,916 polling stations. They are, therefore, calling for the annulment of 4,670,504 votes cast in those polling stations.

But President Mahama, the EC and the National Democratic Congress (NDC) have denied any wrongdoing, and are of the view that the polls were free, fair and transparent and for that reason, results declared were credible and accurate.

A nine-member Supreme Court panel, presided over by Mr Justice William Atuguba, with Mr Justice Julius Ansah, Mrs Justice Sophia Adinyira, Ms Justice Rose Owusu, Mr Justice Jones Dotse, Mr Justice Annin Yeboah, Mr Justice P. Baffoe-Bonnie, Mr Justice N. S. Gbadegbe and Mrs Justice Vida Akoto-Bamfo are hearing the case.

It is hoped that today’s sitting will mark the last hurdle to be cleared before the hearing of the substantive petition which is calling for the annulment of 4,670,504 votes cast during the December 2012 presidential polls.

More soon…