There was a legal blow yesterday between the Lead Counsel for the petitioners, Tsatsu Tsikata, and Justice Amegatcher at the Supreme Court during the first day of the Election Petition hearing.
Read what transpired:
Justice Amegatcher: Mr. Tsikata, why wouldn’t you limit your references to the office rather than the personality. It seems to me that your attack is with the personality and not the office. We will be happy if you just limit it to the office and not the EC because in her absence, any of her deputies could step in.
Tsatsu: Respectfully my lord, there is only one Returning Officer for the presidential election and that is the EC chairperson.
Justice Amegatcher: Let’s leave it at that, Chairperson of the Electoral Commission and not her person.
Tsatsu: But my Lord, she is the Chairperson and she has a name, or I am not allowed to mention the name of the Chairperson.
Justice Amegatcher: The question should be to the office.
Tsatsu: I want to understand, Am I being prohibited from mentioning the name of the Chairperson, is that the issue?
Justice Amegatcher: Reading through your petition which makes constant emphasis on the name, what I am telling you is that we will be satisfied with the designation because in her absence any of her deputies could act in that position.
Justice Amegatcher: So, it is an election petition and you are challenging the election, it is sufficient that the institution charged with the conducting if that election had done their work and the Chairperson who is the head represent that institution and not the personality.
Tsatsu: With the greatest respect, I believe that the constitutional requirement regarding the returning officer and the particular circumstances do not make it possible to step in for the Chairperson, it cannot be like you are envisaging.
Justice Amegatcher: Okay, you can proceed.