View Full Version : NPP wants Mahama out

6th August 2013, 02:52 AM
The decision that this Honourable Court will finally arrive at will have fundamental and far-reaching consequences for the future of democracy in this country.

“It will either affirm the commitment of citizens to our democratic journey and bolster their confidence in democratic institutions and the rule of law, or undermine their belief in political and legal institutions of the nation.”

These were part of the concluding remarks in the address of the three petitioners in the landmark Presidential Election Petition at the Supreme Court when they fervently prayed the court to kick out John Dramani Mahama and make Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo President of Ghana.

In the 176-page address spiced with citations of interesting authorities, as well as thought-provoking analysis of the evidence adduced before the court in the last seven months, the petitioners submitted that a case worthy of all the reliefs they seek has been made out.

“It is the respectful submission of petitioners that what all citizens expect from the highest court of the land is the interpretation and enforcement of the Constitution and the law, and their application to the evidence adduced in this trial without fear or favour, as the judicial oath of the learned justices of this Honourable Court requires of them,” the petitioners prayed.

The petitioners reminded the nine-member panel to take motivation from what happened some 51 years ago in the now infamous case of Re Akoto when the hopes and aspirations of Ghanaians were in the hands of three judges and the court did disappoint the people.

“Today, the people of Ghana once more stand at the threshold of history, not only for Ghana but the rest of Africa. Whether we succeed as a people lies in the hearts and minds of the honourable justices of this Court,” they held.

In a carefully-crafted address, the petitioners drew the court’s attention to facts underpinning the Petition, reliefs sought, summary of answers filed by respondents, issues set for trial as well as explanation of the grounds for the reliefs claimed in the petition in the form of the various violations, malpractices and irregularities.

Also, the petitioners addressed on the burden and standard of proof, the legal effect of the violations, malpractices and irregularities as stated, the primary evidence of the violations, malpractices and irregularities, categorisation/re-categorisation of the exhibits, evaluation of the evidence led at the trial and statistical analysis of the impact of votes affected by infractions before the conclusion.

According to the petitioners, they grounded their reliefs on “widespread violations, malpractices and irregularities apparent on the face of the pink sheets” which they hold are “the primary records of the election results.”

“These infractions took the form of over-voting; voting without biometric verification; the absence of signatures of the presiding officers on the pink sheets; the use of pink sheets with the same serial numbers for the same or different polling stations; the use of the same polling station code for different polling stations or the same polling station, with different results; and the unlawful conduct of the election at twenty-two (22) locations, which were not part of the list of 2602 polling stations created by the 2nd respondent (EC) for the conduct of the election.”

The petitioners said they filed and relied on 10,119 pink sheets, which spoke to the nature of the violations, malpractices and irregularities grounding the petition to prosecute their case.

According to the petitioners, the respondents “failed or refused to file any pink sheet, except the 17 pink sheets 2nd respondent was compelled to tender in evidence on the penultimate day of trial, in an attempt to rebut damning evidence led against it,” adding, “This was so, even though 2nd respondent is the body constitutionally mandated to conduct public elections and referenda, including this petition, and notwithstanding the fact that it is the official custodian of the pink sheets in the election.”

Undoubtedly, the petitioners bore the burden of proving the allegations of violations, malpractices and irregularities grounding the petition and demonstrating that these infractions, in fact, had a material effect on the outcome of the presidential election.

They said at the end of trial, they succeeded in producing “a mountain of evidence, sufficient to discharge the burden of proof” that the law placed on them saying, “this evidence is documentary and manifest on the primary record of the election – the pink sheets.

“Beyond reliance on inconsequential reports of election observers, the respondents, in effect, tendered no evidence of substance of their own. They all sought to whittle down and reduce the number of pink sheet exhibits petitioners had filed on technical grounds of defects in the labelling of the pink sheet exhibits,” the petitioners held.

They held that the respondents “seized the slightest occasion to hurl baseless attacks of criminality, forgery, the manufacturing and smuggling of pink sheets into evidence, even though unsubstantiated, on petitioners.”

They insisted that “at the close of trial, the evidence adduced by petitioners remained unchallenged in all material effects,” adding that Dr. Afari-Gyan, who was the returning officer of the presidential election “cut an unconvincing figure with his bundle of evasive, inconsistent and contradictory answers during cross-examination. His credibility by the end of the trial was all but gone.”

According to the petitioners, they have shown by the sheer depth and weight of the evidence adduced at trial and the force of legal arguments advanced in this address that “there were indeed, substantial constitutional and statutory violations, malpractices and irregularities in the 2012 presidential election and that these violations, malpractices and irregularities had a material effect on the results of the election as declared by 2nd respondent.”

According to the petitioners, Article 63 (3) of the Constitution insists that only valid votes be taken into account in the determination of the validity of the election of the President and are urging the court to uphold this clause in the Constitution.

They said per their analysis, President Mahama’s 5,574,761 as declared by the EC on December 9, 2012 should have been 2,952,210, representing 41.79% since votes totaling 2,622,551 out of the figure announced were invalid.

“The declaration made on 9th December 2012 by the 2nd respondent and set out in the Constitutional Instrument of the President Elect Instrument, 2012 (C. I. 80), made under the hand of the Chairman of 2nd respondent, was therefore made wrongfully and this Court is respectfully invited to hold his election was invalid and to set aside same as null and void.”

In the same vein, the petitioners submitted that the 5,248,898 declared by the Dr. Afari-Gyan for Nana Akufo-Addo should have been 4,0157,12 representing 56.85% since 1,233,186 of the votes were invalid and should be annulled.

“We pray for Ghana that this Court will find the wisdom and fortitude to arrive at a decision based solely on the evidence adduced before it over the last six months and the faithful and scrupulous application of the Constitution and the law thereto in order to meet the legitimate expectations of Ghanaians of the highest court of the land and enshrine the abiding principles of the rule of law and accountability in the body politic,” the petitioners urged the court.

They added that “this way, your lordships would have answered the call to which history beckons Ghana’s judiciary and give meaning to the immortal words inscribed in the nation’s coat of arms – Freedom and Justice.”