The petitioner, in this case, John Dramani Mahama has filed an application for stay of proceedings at the Supreme Court. What this simply means is that the petitioner wants the Supreme Court to temporarily halt the hearing of the ‘main’ petition until such a time that the review application and the application to inspect documents served on the 1st respondent have be heard and ruling given by the Court.
What we must know however is that, the fact that the petitioner has filed a process for stay of proceedings automatically means the hearing of the case will be halted. The Court will take arguments from the petitioner and the respondents (in this case they are likely to oppose the application) before making a final determination whether to grant the application for stay of proceedings or not.
When the instant application is granted, the court will put on hold the hearing of the petition and deal with the review application and the other processes the petitioner has filed. When the court disallows it, then the hearing of the petition will proceed as scheduled. You recall that at the last hearing when lead counsel for the petitioner drew the Court’s attention to the fact they had applications before it for determination before they could file their witness statement, a member of the panel, Prof Ashie Kotey, JSC, retorted that the filing of the review application does not operate as stay of proceedings.
The petitioner’s lawyers have not detracted from their stance that their applications must be determined before the hearing of the petition starts. This does not in anyway amounts to ‘delay tactics’ as the 2nd respondent’s lawyers have persistently alleged. The duty of the petitioner is to prosecute his case in a manner that will fetch him the desired results, and the respondents are there to respondent to whatever the petitioner will file. The respondents’ job is not to direct the petitioner on how to prosecute his case.
This case is not a walk in the park as spokesmen of the 2nd respondent initially thought. It’s like a cow dung, it’s dry at the top but beneath is very muddy. Let’s see if the Court will grant the stay of proceedings or not!
Amorse Blessing Amos
Deputy Greater Accra Regional Youth Organizer-NDC