General News of Thursday, 4 March 2021
The Supreme Court of Ghana has ruled that errors made during the declaration of the 2020 presidential election results were not enough grounds to annul or order a rerun of the vote.
The Justice Kwasi Anin-Yeboah-led court today unanimously dismissed the Election Petition brought by former president John Dramani Mahama.
"The petitioner has not provided any evidence to rebut the evidence created by the presumption CI135, for which his action must fail.
“We therefore have no reason to order a re-run as pleaded by the petitioner. We accordingly dismiss the petition as having no merit,” were the CJ’s final words in the judgment read over two hours.
The petitioner had used errors in the declaration as a key ground for demanding specific reliefs in the case but the court held that the errors were sufficiently explained and did not impact the final results.
“There is no dispute that the chairperson of the first respondent committed an error when she made the declaration. We are however satisfied by the evidence on the record that the figures announced as representing the valid votes obtained by the respective candidates were right and represented the will of the voters.
“We, therefore, think that the error committed by the chairperson of the first respondent cannot void the declaration which actually announced the true wishes of the voters.
“To hold otherwise will mean that errors in statements and numbers committed by Chairperson of the first respondent in an election which do not impact the outcome of the result, will nullify the actual results,” the ruling read in part.
Mahama had applied to the court seeking to overturn the EC’s December 9 declaration of President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo as president-elect. He filed the petition on December 30. The hearing lasted for about two months.