Supreme Court delivers judgement on Mahama’s election petition today

Former President John Dramani Mahama will later today, Thursday, March 4, know whether his petition for the results of last year’s presidential elections to be annulled will be upheld or dismissed. After weeks of hearing amid dismissed applications with their attendant reviews, the seven-member panel led by Chief Justice Kwasi Anin Yeboah will deliver judgement on Thursday, March 4. Mr Mahama, who stood the December 7 on the ticket of the National Democratic Congress (NDC) as its Presidential Candidate, petitioned the Court on Wednesday, December 30 to have the results declared in his favour. Additionally, 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). According to Mr Mahama’s writ, whose initial errors were later corrected, an irony many saw in the spirit behind the petition, the Electoral Commission, Ghana (EC) had inadvertently declared the results in favour of Mr Akufo-Addo. Mr Mahama said the Chair of the EC, Jean Adukwei Mensa, committed errors in the results declared on Wednesday, December 9 and having admitted same made corrections the following day. The petition cited the EC as the First Respondent and Mr Akufo-Addo as the Second Respondent. The EC’s legal team was led by Justin Amenuvor while Akoto Ampaw led Mr Akufo-Addo’s team. While live broadcast of the hearing saw heated moments, there were equally light moments. For instance, Mr Akoto Ampaw was asked by one of the justices, Samuel Marful-Sau, to change his wig for “it has lost its identity as a wig”. Witnesses called in by the petitioner were Johnson Asiedu Nketia, who is the General Secretary of Mr Mahama’s party, Dr Michael Kpessa Whyte and Robert Joseph Mettle-Nunoo, who were designated to be at the National Collation Centre during the elections. Mr Mettle-Nunoo’s strong claim that he was given tea without biscuits got the court in laughter. Though the two respondents had filed written statements of their witnesses – Jean Adukwei Mensa for the EC and Peter Mac Manu for Mr Akufo-Addo – they declined to present them for testimony. According to the respondents, the argument of the petitioner was too weak for them to present their witnesses, claiming their case in open court was enough to have the petition dismissed. 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 hostile witness. The application, like several others in the course of the hearing, was summarily 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. By Emmanuel Kwame Amoh||Ghana

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