Supreme Court swerves Mahama on review application

The Supreme Court has turned down an application by the flagbearer of the National Democratic Congress seeking a review of the court’s decision not to allow the Chairperson of the EC to answer a set of 12 questions from the petitioners. 

Mr Mahama’s legal team filed the review on Wednesday morning and expected a ruling before a case management conference that same day.

In a flurry of exchanges on Wednesday between Mr Tsatsu Tsikata, lead Counsel for Mr Mahama, and some panel members of the Supreme Court, the jurists said Mr Mahama’s review application did not constitute a stay of proceedings.

The court, therefore, waved on the parties to file their witness statement as it closed the chapter on case management–a procedure that allows the court to narrow down specific issues for hearing as well as the timeliness.

But the court deemed the move a time-wasting one. It said its decision would be incorporated in its final judgement as the court pushed the huddles of lawyers to meet the 42-day deadline for the petition.

Counsel for Mr Mahama, Tsatsu Tsikata, wanted to subject the Chairperson of the Electoral Commission, Jean Mensa, to the 12 questions (interrogatories) that he said underpinned his client’s case.

With the court dismissing Mr Mahama’s first shot at the interrogatories on Tuesday, his lawyers returned on Wednesday to demand a review of the apex court’s decision.

On Tuesday, the court ordered the parties to file their issues before case management conference, where the issues for the hearing would be narrowed down to specifics as well as the timelines for the litigation.

But Mr Mahama’s lawyers, led by Mr Tsikata, asked for another bout in the ring of interrogatories on Wednesday.

Unlike him, Mr Tsikata turned up for his legal duties late, forcing the Supreme Court judges to ask the General Secretary of the NDC, Johnson Asiedu Nketia, where his lawyer was as the huddle of lawyers in the court introduced themselves.

When he turned up, he apologised to the seven-member in a terse statement “We have filed for a review of your ruling.”

Chief Justice Kwasi Annin Yeboah took the cue and asked for time for the seven to deliberate on the issue.

When the court resumed sitting, the lawyers expected a ruling on the preliminary objection raised by the petitioners.

But it was not to be.

Chief Justice Kwasi Anin Yeboah, who is the presiding judge, launched into the roadmap for the petition.

Lawyers for the petitioners were expectedly dissatisfied.

A former Deputy Attorney General, Dr Dominic Ayine, who is not part of the NDC litigation incurred the wrath of court with his gestures in reaction to the ruling.

Here are is the road map for the hearing of the petition.

The seven-member panel was presided over by Chief Justice Anin Yeboah.

Other Justices include Yaw Apau, Samuel K. Marful Sau, Nene Amegathcher, Professor Ashie Kotey, Mariama Owusu and Getrude Torkornoo.

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