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Mahama’s Petitioners Were Woeful – Akoto Ampaw

The second respondent Nana Akufo-Addo has urged the Supreme Court to toss out the petition brought by the NDC Flagbearer, John Dramani Mahama.

In a 102-page closing address the second respondent said the petitioners have not provided any facts or evidence to back their claim that nobody won the elections and hence called on the apex court to dismiss the petition.

The team led by Akoto Ampaw said “the court should reject the invitation to uphold the egregious unconstitutionality and dismiss the instant petition as misconceived and wholly unmeritorious”.

According to them, the petitioner John Mahama, in all its submissions in court failed to address two main issues which could have proven their case.

“Can a party to an election dispute under Article 63 (3) of the 1992 Constitution make out his case without providing factual evidence of the actual valid votes cast in favour of all the contesting candidates in the election?

“Can petitioner ground his claim for a re-run of the election on the plea that none of the candidates obtained more than 50% of the total valid votes cast by determining the percentage of valid votes obtained by each candidate using the total votes cast (that is; the total valid votes + the total number of rejected votes) as the denominator in calculating the percentage of valid votes obtained by each candidate?

According to them, these two questions which were critical were not projected by the petitioner in court at all.

Mr Ampaw further argued that the petitioner failed to meet the evidential burden of proof which would have allowed the court to arrive at a definite resolution of the issues in their favour.

He believes all the three witnesses who testified on behalf of the petitioner (NDC General Secretary Johnson Asiedu Nketia, Dr Micheal Kpessa-Whyte and Robert Joseph Mettle-Nunoo) in their testimonies did not prove that any of the 12 presidential candidates attained the 50 plus one threshold.

“We therefore pray that your Lordships dismiss the petition in its entirety as it discloses no reasonable cause of action. Indeed, we respectfully maintain our conviction expressed in the said submissions that the petition is frivolous and discloses no reasonable cause of action.

“In fact, the woeful performance of petitioner’s witnesses during their respective cross-examination further buttressed our position that the instant petition, with all due respect, ought not to have proceeded to trial. Be that as it may, it has rather exposed further the malaise that afflicted the petition at the time of its filing and which has, even after the trial, clearly decayed to become incurable,” they added.

Also, Mr Ampaw accused former president Mahama of attacking the electoral choices of the people of Ghana.

Their accusation, is grounded in the fact that the petitioner is praying for a rerun of the December 7 election, with the claim that none of the candidates had 50 plus.

“The election petition before this court rather seeks to completely overturn this sacred constitutional principle. This petition is an industry in futility. It has been designed, built and furnished with a lazy labour of facts and evidence that seek to attack the electoral choices of the people of Ghana,” they further argued

Mr Mahama, on the other hand, has also charged the apex court to be bold and turn the wheel of justice in their favour.

The petitioner’s legal team led by Tsatsu Tsikata pointed out that once the first respondent (Electoral Commission) has failed to testify, the court should not shudder to dismiss the account of the commission.

According to them, there is no evidence from the EC to show that it did not give contradictory figures in the December 7 elections, as has been tabled out by the petitioner.

The team, in a 41-page closing address insist that none of the contradictory figures for which the EC Chairperson based her declaration can be accepted as truth.

Mr Tsikata mentioned the EC Chairperson Jean Mensa was given a fair opportunity to mount the witness box and tell the world what the actual total valid votes were, but she declined.

“First respondent (Electoral Commission) has not discharged the burden of proof on it to show the error allegedly made by the EC on December 9, and the purported correction on December 10 or any other figure derived from results it has published. No basis exists for any Trier of fact to consider that EC has even discharged the burden of producing evidence under section 11 of the Evidence Act.

“The obligation of the EC to introduce sufficient evidence to avoid a ruling against him has not been simply met because EC decided not to have anyone testify on their behalf. No evidence is therefore, available for the first respondent to avoid a ruling against it,” as captured in the closing address filed on February 23, 2021.

The petitioner has maintained that the non-compliance by the Chairperson is a serious infraction of a constitutional instrument, for which she wields her power.

At the last sitting of the court, the Chief Justice, Anin Yeboah indicated that the court will give its ruling on March 4, 2021.

Source: The Ghana Report.

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