Ghana

Ignore Mahama’s request to put election petition hearing on hold – Akufo-Addo to Supreme Court

John Mahama and Nana Akufo-Addo at Presidential Peace Pact 2020

Documents have been filed on behalf of President Akufo-Addo indicating his objection to a request by the NDC’s John Dramani Mahama to the Supreme Court to put the election petition hearing on hold.

Mr. Mahama through his lawyers is demanding that hearings are halted until the Supreme Court deals with a review application he has filed.

The documents signed by one of Mr. Akufo-Addo’s lawyers, Kwaku Asirifi, describes the request by Mr. Mahama as “unmeritorious and calculated to stall the hearing of the petition”.

Mr. Mahama is at the Apex court challenging the 2020 election results.

The court on Wednesday, January 20, 2021, ordered that Mr. Mahama’s team files it’s witness statements by close of day on Thursday.

Lead Counsel for the petitioner, Tsatsu Tsikata informed the court they had filed an application urging the court to review its early decision that turned down a request to subject the EC Chairperson to 12 questions.

Mr. Mahama’s lawyers have on Thursday morning filed another application.

This time around, they are asking that the court halts all proceedings relating to the case till it determines their review application.

The lawyers argue that a serious miscarriage of justice will be occasioned if the court proceeds without a determination of the review application. This they explain will result in irreparable harm that cannot be remedied.

But President Akufo-Addo whose electoral victory is being challenged disagrees.

The document filed on his behalf by his lawyers makes the case that John Mahama was well aware of the strict 42-day timeline imposed on the Supreme Court to deal with election petitions.

It states further that the law imposing such a requirement was gazetted and came into force on 5th January 2017 when Mr. Mahama was President of Ghana.

They further argue that Mr. Mahama could have filed his interrogatories request shortly after filing his petition on December 30, 2020 or at least on 9th January, 2021 when he received the EC and President Akufo-Addo’s response.

The lawyers say the request was deliberately made late as a part of a plot to stampede the clear timelines imposed on the Supreme Court.

The lawyers conclude by saying “there are no exceptional circumstances occasioning a miscarriage of justice that warrant the grant of the instant application for stay of proceedings.

“This honorable court ought to dismiss the application as unmeritorious and calculated to stall the hearing of a petition that he himself has initiated”.

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