Election Petition: I disagree with the process of trial and ruling of the court – John Mahama

John Dramani Mahama, the petitioner in the 2020 election petition says he disagreed with the process of the trial and ruling of the Supreme Court.

“Much as I’m aware that we are legally bound by the decision of the highest court of the land, the Supreme Court of Ghana, I disagree with the process of the trial and the ruling of the Court,” Mahama said.

“Ghanaians will always remember that moment when my lead counsel, Tsatsu Tsikata quoted from the Holy Bible urging the justices of the Supreme Court to be faithful to their judicial oath and conscience only for the lawyer for the second respondent to argue for the exclusion of God in this matter…” Mahama said, addressing the media at his office in Cantonments, Accra.

He added: “Ghanaians will also remember and this will go into history, this 2021 election petition for that profound moment when the chairperson of the Electoral Commission opted to evade public scrutinize. Everything was done in this trial to prevent the Commission from accounting to the people in whose name they hold office.”

Earlier, the Supreme Court by a unanimous decision affirmed the victory of President Akufo-Addo in the 2020 presidential election.

“The petitioner has not produced any evidence to rebut the presumptions created by the publication of CI 135 for which his action has failed. We have therefore no reason to order for a rerun … we accordingly dismiss the petition as having no merit,” Chief Justice Anin-Yeboah has ruled.

By a unanimous, seven-member decision, the Supreme Court dismissed the petition as being without merit.

According to the court, the petitioner based his case on an error made by the chairperson of the EC during the declaration, but this error could not void the will of the people in electing a president.

The Supreme Court also held that the Electoral Commission’s error in using the total votes cast as the total valid votes during the declaration was corrected, with the correction in accordance with the law.

What the petitioner wanted

John Mahama wanted the Supreme Court to rule that the presidential election result as declared by the EC chairperson, Jean Mensa, breached the constitution.

He was further asking the court to annul the results of the polls and order the EC to organize a run-off between himself and President Akufo-Addo.

Before trial commenced, the Supreme Court set the following issues for determination:

  1. Whether or not the petition disclosed any reasonable cause for action.
  2. Whether or not based on the data contained in the declaration of the first respondent (Electoral Commission), no candidate obtained more than 50% of the valid votes cast as required by Article 63 (3) of the 1992 constitution.
  3. Whether or not the second respondent still met the threshold terms of Article 63 (3) of the 1992 constitution by the exclusion or inclusion of the Techiman South constituency presidential election results of 2020.
  4. Whether or not the declaration by the first respondent dated 9 December was in violation of Article 63 (3) of the 1992 constitution.
  5. 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.

But reading the ruling of the Supreme Court today (4 March 2021), Chief Justice Anin-Yeboah said the petitioner did not meet terms in any of the five areas outlined by the court for determining the case.

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