The Supreme Court has today the 20th of January 2021, set-down five (5) main issues for determination in respect of the petition filed by the presidential candidate of the opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC) over the results of the 2020 presidential and parliamentary elections held on the 7th of December 2020.
When the seven-member Supreme Court panel presided over by Chief Justice Anin Yeboah was duly constituted, lawyers of the parties (the Petitioner, the Electoral Commission and President Akufo-Addo) indicated that they had filed their memorandum of issues as directed by the Court when it sat yesterday the 19th of January 2021.
To this, the court indicated that it would rise to consider the issues filed by the parties in order to give further directions on the case.
After about one hour and five minutes of recess, the court reconstituted and indicated that it has set down five (5) main issues that will engage its attention in adjudicating Mr. Mahama’s petition. The issues are;
- Whether or not the petition discloses any cause of action – that is if there are any legal grounds for the petition;
- Whether or not the Second Respondent [Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo] met the Article 63 (3) threshold of the 1992 Constitution – this constitutional provision states that a presidential candidate must obtain more than 50 per cent of the total valid votes cast to be declared as President-Elect;
- Whether or not the 2nd Respondent [Nana Akufo-Addo] still met the Article 63(3) of the 1992 Constitution threshold by the exclusion or inclusion of the Techiman South Constituency presidential election results;
- Whether or not the declaration by the First Respondent (EC) on December 9 of the presidential election conducted on December 7 was in violation of Article 63(3) of the 1992 Constitution; and
- 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.
The Supreme Court further ruled that by virtue of the power conferred on the court by rule 5 sub-rule 4 of CI 99 to dispose of the petition within strict timelines, the Petitioner is ordered to file witness statements and exhibits if any, by noon of Thursday the 21st of January 2021.
“The witness statements shall be served on counsel for the respondents by close of day on the 21st of January 2021. The respondents and their witnesses if any, shall file their witness statements with exhibits if any by close of day on the 22nd of January 2021,” the Supreme Court ruled.
“The First and Second Respondent shall file their submissions on the preliminary objection raised to the petition by 12 noon on Friday the 22nd of January 2021,” the Court further ruled.
After the consequential orders of the court, lawyer for the Petitioner had cause to complain about the rather strict timelines set out by the court in its ruling. However, the court paid no attention to same.
The Supreme Court subsequently ruled that it will reconstitute on Tuesday the 26th of January 2021 to hear the election petition case.