Election Petition: Order rerun on a skewed hypothetical analysis, absurb – Akufo-Addo
President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo has again questioned the substance and logic of the NDC Flagbearer John Dramani Mahama election petition.
In a fresh jab, after filing its witness statement as directed by the Supreme Court, lawyers for the president said some of the petitioners’ arguments were exaggerated and absurd.
“At the heart of the case of Petitioner, are the unfounded and exaggerated extrapolations the petitioner makes out of the erroneous interchanging of total votes cast for total valid votes cast by [the Electoral Commission] when declaring the results of the Presidential Election on December 9, 2020,” they argued.
Commenting on one of the reliefs sought by the petitioner, which includes a rerun of the presidential elections held on December 7, 2020, President Akufo-Addo said: “it was bizarre and manifestly erroneous”.
“This simply defies logic and is utterly untenable. In effect, petitioner entreats the court to embark on a fruitless exercise to order a second election based on a skewed hypothetical analysis which completely ignores the actual votes obtained by himself as well as all other candidates in the Techiman South Constituency.
“Effectively, the petitioner’s claims are anchored on unfounded hypothesis, conjectures and imagination,” the President added.
According to the president, the petitioner’s failure to show the alleged irregularities and errors widely suggested is sufficient to warrant a court’s decision to dismiss the petition.
The president response comes after the Electoral Commission also urged the court to throw out the election petition case.
The commission, in its response, noted that the former president’s election petition was nothing but a total waste of time and resources.
According to the EC, it was undeserving of the attention received so far.
The former president on the other hand has applied for a stay of proceedings on the ongoing election petition.
The petitioners want the apex court to settle some outstanding issues that is key to determining if indeed the New Patriotic Party presidential candidate was duly elected.
But President Akufo-Addo has raised an objection to Mr Mahama’s stay of proceedings for the Supreme Court to put the election petition hearing on hold.
Documents from President Akufo-Addo’s legal team described the request by Mr. Mahama as “unmeritorious and calculated to stall the hearing of the petition”.
Meanwhile, on January 20, the apex court announced the roadmap for the election petition hearing.
In setting out the timelines, it said it would not tolerate time-wasting as it took a cue from the 2012 election petition which travelled for more than eight months.
The roadmap announced will see parties making their case to determine if indeed there were some anomalies with the results that saw the NPP presidential candidate emerging winner of the 2020 polls.
The flagbearer of the National Democratic Congress, John Dramani Mahama, on December 30, challenged the results of last year’s elections.
According to Mr Mahama, the results were flawed and fictional. He is seeking to reverse it and ultimately want the court to order a rerun as his figures indicated that the two front runners did not get the constitutionally required 50% +1 votes to be winners.
After asking Mahama to correct errors in his petition on January 14, 2021, the court again dealt with an application for interrogatories filed by the petitioners on January 19.
Below is the roadmap
- Mode of trial – The petitioner and their witnesses shall file witness statements with exhibits if any, by 12 noon of Thursday, January 21, 2021.
- The witness statements shall be filed on the counsel for the respondents by close of day on Thursday, January 21.
- The respondents and their witnesses if any, shall file their witness statements with exhibits, if any by close of day on Friday, January 22, 2021.
- The first and second respondents shall file their submissions on the preliminary objections raised to the petition by 12 noon on Friday, January 22, 2021.
- The registrar shall ensure service of the preliminary objections by close of day, Friday, January 22, 2021.
- The petitioner shall file any response to the submission of the preliminary objections by noon on Monday, January 25, 2021.
- The registrar shall ensure service of the petitioner’s response by close of day on Monday, January 25, 2021.
- The ruling on the preliminary objections would be incorporated in the judgement of the court.
- Timelines – The court shall sit on Tuesday, January 26, 2021, for the hearing of this petition.
With the timeline set, the court will deal with certain key issues that will determine whether or not the petition before them has any merit.
The key issues include: whether or not the petition discloses any cause of action and whether or not the second respondent met the Article 63 benchmark of the constitution.