The Supreme Court has thrown out the request by the Electoral Commission (EC), the second respondent in the presidential election petition, praying the court to vary its orders in a petition challenging the legitimacy of President John Dramani Mahama.
In a motion on notice filed on behalf of the EC by its solicitors, Lynes Quashie-Idun and Co, the EC had urged the court to vary its April 2, 2013 order which directed respondents in the petition to file their written affidavits within five days from the service of petitioners’ affidavits on them.
Rather, the EC prayed the court to review its order by directing it (EC) to file its written response “within five days from the close of the petitioners’ case”.
What the EC had requested the court to do was allow it and other respondents to file their evidence in the form of written affidavits after the petitioners have closed their case in the trial, which is set to begin on April 16, 2013.
But Philip Addison, lead Counsel for the three petitioners; Nana Akufo-Addo, Dr Mahamudu Bawumia and Jake Obetsebi-Lamptey who are challenging the 2012 election results which declared John Mahama as winner, objected to the motion saying it is a clear breach of the ground rules set by the court at the last adjourned hearing.
Averring that since the petitioners have respected the directives of the court, he demanded that the second respondent do same and prayed the court to dismiss the motion filed by the EC.
Having listened to both arguments, the nine-member Supreme Court panel comprising 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, Mrs Justice Vida Akoto-Bamfo and presided over by Mr Justice William Atuguba, unanimously agreed that the EC’s request lacked merit and threw it out.
Interestingly, the Court also wondered why the Chairman of the EC, Dr Kwadwo Afari Gyan has been absent thus far.
One of the panel members sitting on the case, Justice Jones Dotse found it intriguing that the EC boss has not shown any interest in personally appearing in Court to witness proceedings since the case started.
Questioning the whereabouts of the EC boss, he expressed worry that Dr Afari Gyan, the Returning Officer for the 2012 disputed Election has not stepped foot in court ever since proceedings began.