The Supreme Court will today begin hearing a petition filed by the Presidential candidate of the National Democratic Congress (NDC), John Dramani Mahama, challenging the results of the 2020 Presidential election.
The court will first of all hear an application for amendment filed by lawyers for the former President who are praying the court to allow them correct a ‘mistake’ in the petition filed on January 30, 2020.
The petitioner in his reliefs inadvertently asked the apex court for an order directing the Electoral Commission (EC) to organize another election between himself and the EC instead of President Akufo-Addo who was declared winner of the 2020 Presidential election.
The court after deciding on the motion for amendment, which it will most likely grant, may then conduct the preliminary hearing which includes case management to set down the modalities of the hearing.
The court may also be hearing preliminary objections raised by the EC and Akufo-Addo, urging it to dismiss the petition as unmeritorious and not properly invoking the jurisdiction of the court as stipulated by Article 64(1) of the 1992 Constitution regarding the challenge of Presidential election results.
DAILY GUIDE understands that the apex court will allow the proceedings to be broadcast live on Ghana Television (GTV) as was done during the hearing of the 2012 Petition filed by then candidate of the New Patriotic Party (NPP) Akufo-Addo.
The former President has petitioned the Supreme Court over the results of the 2020 Presidential Election, which according to the EC was won by Akufo-Addo.
He alleges among others that there was padding of votes at some centres in favour of the President.
Mr. Mahama in his petition is urging the Supreme Court to annul the results of the December 7 polls as none of the candidates who contested the election got the required more than 50 per cent of the total valid votes to be declared President-Elect.
He is also asking the apex court for an order of injunction restraining Akufo-Addo from holding himself out as President-Elect.
Again, the former President wants the court to order the EC to organize a run-off between him and Akufo-Addo as the only two candidates.
Both the EC and Akufo-Addo, who are the two respondents in the matter, have filed their responses urging the court to dismiss the petition as it failed to raise any cause of action.
The President in his response to the petition labeled it as a face-saving gimmick by Mr. Mahama after he had claimed that he won the election prior to the declaration by the EC.
“The instant action is a ruse and face saving gimmick by the petitioner, after the petitioner and many senior members of the NDC party had prematurely claimed outright victory in the election, only to be badly exposed by results of the first respondent (EC), corroborated by all media houses of note in the country as well as many independent local and international observers,” the President argued.
He argues that the petition does not disclose any attack on the validity of the election held at any of the 38,622 polling stations and 311 special voting centres or any of the processes set out for results tallying.
The President avers that Mr. Mahama, from the reliefs sought, claims that none of the candidates obtained more than 50 per cent of the total valid votes cast in the election and therefore seeks a run-off.
However, he does not indicate the number of valid votes or percentages that he or Akufo-Addo should have obtained in the election to support his request for a run-off.
“Second respondent in the circumstances says the petition is merely conjectural and borne out of petitioner’s unfounded imagination, and further that the material facts in the petition do not support the reliefs sought, and therefore, same should be dismissed in limine as incompetent,” Akufo-Addo argues.
The President also invited the court to determine the petition as “incompetent, frivolous and vexatious.”
The EC in its response avers that the Presidential Election Declaration Form (Form 13), which is the tally of the 16 Form 12s transmitted, without the results from the Techiman South Constituency, and showing the total votes cast and the total valid votes, shows that Akufo-Addo won the December 7, 2020 election.
It further argues that the figures from the results converted into percentages showed that Akufo-Addo had obtained more than 50 per cent of the valid votes, which met the constitutional threshold for election of President under Article 63(3) of the constitution.
The EC also denies allegations of wrong aggregation and vote padding in some constituencies and describes the allegations as misleading and self-serving.
The EC is therefore, urging the court to dismiss the petition as it does not challenge the the validity of election conducted throughout all the 38,622 polling stations and the 311 special voting centres in the country, or contest the lawfulness of votes obtained by any of the parties to the election.
BY Gibril Abdul Razak