The Supreme Court hearing the Election Petition challenging the validity of the 2012 presidential election results on Wednesday unanimously granted leave to Mr Tsatsu Tsikata, lead counsel for the National Democratic Congress (NDC) to file his written address to the court out of stipulation.
But that was not before some scolding from the bench which observed that its orders were to be obeyed rather than taken lightly, especially so when being the highest court of the land, the lower courts take counsel from how matters are conducted there.
All other parties – the petitioners, the first and second respondents had complied with the court’s July 30 deadline for the simultaneous filing of the addresses except the third respondent – NDC.
The NDC’s address was filed Wednesday at 9:50am. It has 69-pages with additional large volumes of attachments.
When the court resumed sitting Wednesday morning, Mr Tsikata explained the lateness was due to his personal fault and asked for leave from the court for the late filing.
He said the delay in filing was occasioned by the fact that they needed to have the more than 10 appendixes bound together in one volume with the address itself.
The court subsequently adjourned to Wednesday August 7, 2013 as a tentative date for all the parties to be heard orally by way of clarifications and additions in their addresses to the court.
The address is to be made within 30 minutes each.
The tentative date followed suggestions that the 7th August could be declared a holiday to climax the month of Islamic Ramadan.
But former Ayawaso West Wuogon Constituency Chairman of the New Patriotic Party (NPP), Michael Omari Wadie is unenthused by the conduct of counsel for the First and Third Respondents.
Speaking on Okay fm, Omari Wadie said he was surprised to hear Tony Lithur defending the Third Respondent after Tsatsu Tsikata had explained to the Supreme Court the cause of the delay; adding that it was a well-worked out ploy by the Respondents to go through the Petitioners address.
“Acclaimed astute lawyer Tsatsu Tsikata cannot convince Ghanaians that he could not finish his address within the two weeks which the Supreme Court ordered due to technical fault…it is a calculated attempt to get some clues from the petitioners’ address….both Tsatsu and Tony Lithur are blockheads who cannot even own write their addresses without picking ideas and inspiration from the petitioners’,” Omari Wadie said.
Touching on the 30minutes allotted time to each party to orally address the court, the former NPP Constituency Chairman pointed out that the petitioners have a solid case which is why they needed just 20 minutes to present their address, but “strategically the respondents have succeeded in getting 1 hour 30 minutes to defend their bad case.”
“We are not perturbed at all by this strategy,” he added.