Contrary to commonly known practice in a democratic culture where individuals striving to be elected as Presidents or Members of Parliament based on valid votes cast by electorates in an election, the 2012 flagbearer of Ghana’s opposition New Patriotic Party, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo is rather urging Justices of the Supreme Court to annul the votes of his opponent to enable him become president.
The staggeringly alien move if upheld by the Justices of the Highest Court of Ghana, will catapult the twice defeated Presidential Candidate of the largest opposition party into an obscure hall of fame as the only President in the world to have occupy the Presidency not on valid votes cast in an election, but rather, through the annulment of millions of legitimate votes cast.
Whereas across the globe, especially in countries practicing democracy, all elected officials have had to vigorously campaign and draw people to their sides in order to garner majority of the valid votes cast, the situation in Ghana now, courtesy the election petition engineered by three leading members of the NPP is entirely different from widely known practice.
Ghanaians and for that matter the world, will on August 29, 2013 witness a classic case of a defeated Presidential candidate in an election adjudged free and fair by international observers, deploying a chic and modish way of assuming the reigns of governance in the event the Justice Atuguba presided-over nine member panel of the Supreme Court accept the arguments by the petitioners. For the first time in the political history of the world, an Akufo-Addo presidency based on a positive declaration by the Supreme Court in his favor will make the former Abuakwa South MP as the only President to have been elected through the cancelation of millions of votes garnered by his political archrival.
Without prejudice to the election petition, this voguish move if accepted by the Supreme Court could possibly have Nana Akufo-Addo’s name tightly featured in the Guinness book of records or probably become the eighth wonders of the world. In fact, it will mark a foremost milestone in the world political history and will open up the gate for Political Scientist across the world to use the case of the former Foreign Affairs Minister under the Kufuor administration as a case study.
As Ghanaians and the world at large have witnessed so far in the election petition challenging the legitimacy of President John Mahama of the ruling National Democratic Congress; Nana Akufo-Addo, acting as 1st petitioner and two other leading members of the NPP, Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia and Jake Obetsebi-Lamptey are praying the Supreme Court to annul over four million votes in order to declare him Nana Akufo-Addo President.
The petitioners’ reason for calling for a cancelation for such a gamut of votes cast in the 2012 December 7 and 8 elections, majority of which belongs to President Mahama was that those votes were tainted with irregularities, statutory and constitutional violations, malpractices and omissions, therefore cannot be allowed to stand as valid votes.
The petitioners are alleging that during the December 7 & 8 presidential elections, there were widespread instances of over-voting, voting without biometric verification, unsigned pink sheets by election presiding officers as well as duplicate serial numbers.
The nine-member panel of the Supreme Court, presided over by Justice William Atuguba, thus set down two issues; whether there were statutory violations, omissions, malpractices and irregularities in the conduct of the election and whether they affected the outcome of the polls. It is worthy to note that, though prior to the filing of the petition and indeed, in the petition itself, the petitioners claimed results from the 2012 election were falsified by the Electoral Commissioner to deny Nana Akufo-Addo the presidency, the petitioners, through their key witness had to abandon that claim in the cause of the trial for want of evidence.
In a morose regard to hinge the petition solely on clerical errors as admitted by the Electoral Commission which is the 2nd respondent in the case, the petitioners introduced a self-generated analysis, which they claim when accepted by the Justices will make Nana Akufo-Addo a first run winner of the last election.
In a clear case of “bad faith” as stated by 1st and 3rd respondents, virtually all the over 10,000 polling stations out of the 26,002 polling stations the petitioners are seeking to annul votes from, are mainly from President Mahama’s strongholds. Indeed, Lawyer Tony Lithur, lead counsel for the 1st respondents, President John Mahama as part of his oral address at the penultimate sitting of the Court, argued that the 1st petitioner based on the petition was aiming to become President not based on votes cast in an election but through the annulment of votes.
Mr. Lithur added that, the basis on which Nana Akufo-Addo was seeking to annul those votes was untenable, especially when the alleged irregularities were not the fault of the voters, but were administrative errors relating to the EC of which the voters had no control over.