Election Petition: Mahama’s supplementary application for review of interrogatories ruling dismissed
The Supreme Court has dismissed an application filed by the legal team of the petitioner in the ongoing Election Petition case, John Mahama, seeking to strengthen their argument asking for a review of the court’s ruling on some questions they had wanted to ask the Chairperson of the Electoral Commission, Jean Adukwei Mensa.
The Justices of the Supreme Court in throwing out the supplementary application explained that: “we find that our inherent jurisdiction cannot be invoked under the circumstances of the case when the rules of the court have made clear provisions in the exercise of our jurisdiction in this matter. We accordingly dismiss the application”.
About the supplementary application
Mr. Mahama’s legal team, led by Tsatsu Tsikata had asked the court to review its earlier ruling dismissing questions [interrogatories] the petitioner wanted to ask Jean Mensa.
The team subsequently filed another application to replace portions of the original statement of the case, as well as file a supplement to their statement of case requesting for the review.
Mr. Mahama’s legal team insisted that the court will be provided with further information if the application was granted.
The application sought to replace paragraph 28 of the original statement of the case and file a supplement to the statement of the case.
Paragraph 28 of the petitioners’ initial review document states among others that “there is no reference in rule 69(c) 4 of CI 99 to amendments. It is rather 69 A (6) which provides as follows.”
In the proposed new paragraph “it rather” quotes 68(7) instead of the 69A(6) as earlier quoted.
The lead counsel for the petitioner, Tsatsu Tsikata earlier in court outlined series of cases where the court allowed for a supplementary statement of cases in both review and appeal applications.
But counsels for the first and second respondents opposed the request on the basis that the review jurisdiction of the court does not allow for a supplement of the case to a review application as the case is in its appellate state.
Mr. Tsikata, however, insisted that his readings on the rules of the review jurisdiction and past rulings of the court give the court the power to grant the application.
The nine-panel of judges threw out the supplementary application and proceeded to hear the review application.
Below are excerpts of the ruling:
“We have considered the submissions canvassed for and in opposition for this application. We notice that this application before this court is brought under the inherent jurisdiction of the court to file additional grounds of review and replace paragraph 28 of the original statement of the case and to file a supplement to the statement of the case. The application which was argued before us is not sanctioned by any provisions in C.I. 16, specifically from rules 54 to 60 of the Supreme Court rule C.I. 16 of 1996.”
“In law and by the settled practice of this court, it should be noted that review and appeals are conceptually different and the rules governing the application in either of them are very distinct and this court has in several cases exhibited remarkable consistency. All the other cases referred by the counsel for the applicant are based on original jurisdictions and civil appeals.”
“The Tamakloe case does not in any way discuss the grant of an application for the reliefs sought before us. In civil appeals and original jurisdiction matters before this court, there are express provisions to grant the reliefs sought in this application and the court may in appropriate cases grant such applications in the interest of delivering justice under rule 15 of sub-rule 11 and 51 of C.I.16, 1996. To grant this application would be tantamount to expanding the scope of jurisdiction of review which jurisdiction is not provided under this court by the rules. We find that our inherent jurisdiction cannot be invoked under the circumstances of the case when the rules of the court have made clear provisions in the exercise of our jurisdiction in this matter. We accordingly dismiss the application.”