NPP should put the first man in the stand – Ato Dadzie taunts

General News of Tuesday, 16 April 2013

Source: Joy Online

Ato Dadzie And Kojogah Adawudu NdcLawyers

A member of the NDC legal team contesting the election petition before the Supreme Court has dared the petitioners to muster courage and open their case in court.

According to Nana Ato Dadzie, the first and third respondents are ready to cross examine witnesses of the petitioners and establish the truth of the matter.

“Our only disappointment [in the adjournment] is that we are primed for this case… We were hoping they will take the courage to put their first man in the stand,” he taunted.

Nana Ato Dadzie was reacting to the adjournment of the hearing of the election petition filed by three leading members of the New Patriotic Party.

The adjournment followed the insistence of the petitioners to be served with copies of the affidavits filed by two of the respondents as earlier agreed by the court. Lead lawyer for the petitioners Philip Addison also argued the affidavits by the second respondent – the Electoral Commission – is crucial and must be served on the petitioners before hearing.

“We expect serious business tomorrow. I don’t think the outside would be ready to encourage an adjournment beyond today,” he warned.

But Madam Gloria Akuffo, a member of the petitioners’ legal team explained on Joy FM’s Top Story that they insisted on adjournment to enable the EC file its affidavits, other than that they (the EC) would achieve partially what the court had refused to grant them: the court had in a previous sitting unanimously ruled against a motion by the EC, praying the court to begin hearing so that they will present their affidavits later.

“And if we have not been served, principle is indivisible; we cannot start our case while they have all our evidence and we have none, and it is important to note that in this matter, the EC is the most important respondent in this matter.”

Earlier, the petitioners had wanted to use PowerPoint to present their evidence to expedite the processes, but the court did not grant that.

Nana Ato Dadzie explained that the affidavits filed by the petitioners were themselves expected to “expedite” the hearing, noting that the judges felt there was no need for them to be “reeducated” because they have “enough”.

Meanwhile, the petitioners and the first and third respondents as at 5:45pm Tuesday were yet to be served with the affidavits of the second respondent – the Electoral Commission. Victor Adawudu, a member of the respondents’ legal team and Gloria Akuffo confirmed that they were yet to be served.

Meanwhile, a private legal practitioner, Samson Lardy Ayenini has underscored the importance of today’s adjournment: “This is not a normal case…even though the principle, actually, is that the justices will let justice be done [even if] the heavens fall. So it is expected of them to do due diligence, due process, so that the verdict is not seen to be tainted by either party. It is very, very important, a very critical cardinal principle that justice must not merely be seen to be done, but it must be manifestly and undoubtedly be seen to be done.”

The petitioners – NPP 2012 presidential candidate, Nana Akufo-Addo; his running mate, Dr Mahamudu Bawumia; and party chairman, Jake Obetsebi-Lamptey – are challenging the 2012 presidential election which President Mahama was declared winner by the EC.