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Supreme Court strikes out Mahama’s stay of proceedings application

The Supreme Court has struck out the petitioner John Dramani Mahama’s application for stay of proceedings of the ongoing election petition. 

It was the case of the seven-member panel presided over by the Chief Justice Anin that the stay of proceedings application was premised on the review application of the February 11 ruling which was earlier dismissed by the court.

Since, the court had already given its ruling on the review application, it saw no need to continue to hear the stay of proceedings application.

The stay of proceedings filed on February 16, sought to appeal to the apex court to relook at its ruling of not compelling the EC Chairperson Jean Mensa to testify.

The petitioners want the EC to testify because it had filed depositions to that effect.

Affidavits, that sought to suggest that the petitioner could ask her the 12 key questions during cross examination.

But that was not to be as the Electoral Commission announced closure of its case and saw no need to testify.

This is the second time the apex court has struck out an attempt to halt proceedings of the on-going election petition.

On January 26, 2021, the apex court struck out the motion after counsel for the petitioner Tsatsu Tsikata withdrew the motion regarding the stay of proceedings it had filed on January 21, 2021.

“In respect of the motion for stay of proceedings, your Lordships may appreciate that we indicated that it was for stay pending the determination of the review application.

“If, your Lordships, are going to proceed to hear the review application then clearly that motion for stay is removed,” Mr Tsikata said.

But with Thursday’s hearing, the petitioner’s team did not withdraw the motion. There was a banter as to whether the motion should be moved today or Monday, February 22, 2021.

As the Chief Justice Anin Yeboah sought the view of the petitioner’s counsel Tsatsu Tsikata, the respondents rose to object to hearing the case.

The respondents counsels (Justin Amenuvor and Akoto Ampaw) raised the issue that it was not necessary to continue to hear the case once a determination had been made on the review application, filed in connection to the stay application.

Mr Ampaw said it was important for the court to rethink its decision and award costs to some of these applications filed to derail the court from it’s set target.

After a back and forth, the CJ finally struck out the case.

The case is set to continue on February 22, 2021, to hear the closing arguments from all parties.

The parties were directed to file their closing arguments on February 17, 2021, but the petitioner’s legal team are yet to file their submission.

But Counsel for the Electoral Commission and President Akufo-Addo have filed their closing addresses, in anticipation for judgement.

Meanwhile, the petitioner, John Mahama has filed another review application of the ruling delivered in relation to re-opening their case.

The court will move the application on Monday, February 22, 2021.

 

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