The Supreme Court will today, March 4, deliver judgement on the highly anticipated December 2020 presidential election petition trial.
Former President John Mahama who contested the December 7 election on the ticket of the National Democratic Congress (NDC), petitioned the Court on Wednesday, December 30, challenging the legitimacy of the Electoral Commission’s December 9, 2020 declaration of Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo as winner of the poll.
Also, he prayed the Court for a rerun between him and the declared winner, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, who stood on the ticket of the New Patriotic Party (NPP).
Mr. Mahama also argued in his petition that, President Akufo-Addo did not meet the constitutional threshold for election to the high office of president yet was so declared.
The Supreme Court’s judgment is supposed to address five issues that were set forth for determination, including the question of whether or not President Akufo-Addo met the constitutional threshold for election to the office of president.
1. Whether or not the petition discloses any reasonable cause of action.
2. Whether or not based on the data contained in the declaration of the Electoral Commission of President Akufo-Addo as president-elect, no candidate obtained more than 50% of the valid votes casts as required by Article 63 (3) of the 1992 constitution.
3. Whether or not the 2nd respondent still met the Article 63(3) of the 1992 constitution threshold by the exclusion or inclusion of the Techiman South constituency presidential election results.
4. Whether or not the declaration by the first respondent dated 9th of December 2020 of the results of the presidential election conducted on the 7th of December 2020 was in violation of Article 63(3) of the 1992 constitution.
5. Whether or not the alleged vote padding and other errors complained of by the petitioner affected the outcome of the presidential election results of 2020.
On January 19, the Supreme Court dismissed the application by the Petitioner, which sought to ask it to grant leave for the Electoral Commission (1st respondent) to answer 12 questions regarding the declaration of the presidential election results.
The panel of seven-member said that the crucial issues of relevance had not been established by the petitioner, adding, “reference was made to the 2013 [presidential election] petition in which an application for interrogatories was granted by the Supreme Court.
Three witnesses were presented by the petitioner to be cross-examined by the respondents. They are Johnson Asiedu Nketia, the NDC’s General Secretary, Dr. Michael Kpessa Whyte, and Rojo Mettle Nunoo who were Mr. Mahama’s representatives at the EC’s National Collation Centre (strongroom).
Mr. Nketia told the court in his statement that the declaration of the EC on December 9 is error-ridden; makes no mathematical sense and indicates that no one won the polls. The other witnesses allege they discovered errors during the computation and informed the EC. They claim they were instructed to go and confer with the party’s presidential candidate. It was while they were away, that the results were declared.
The EC and President Akufo-Addo opted not to call any witnesses, insisting a case meriting an answer has not been made.
This became the subject of one of the complex applications – the petitioner requesting to re-open his case and invite Mrs Mensa as an adverse or oppose witness.
The application and several others in the course of the hearing, was comparably dismissed. A review later sought by Mr Mahama on his behalf by his team of lawyers was also dismissed.
On Monday, February 22, when the review was dismissed, chair of the seven-judge panel announced March 4 as judgement day.