Election Petition: Supreme Court throws out Mahama’s application for review of interrogatories ruling
The Supreme Court has dismissed an application filed by John Dramani Mahama through his legal team, seeking for a review of an earlier ruling given by the court with regard to questions the presidential election petitioners were seeking to ask the Chairperson of the Electoral Commission, Jean Adukwei Mensa.
The nine justices hearing the review said they were not satisfied with the arguments Mahama’s legal team put across hence the dismissal of the application.
Earlier in court on Thursday, January 28, 2021, the Supreme Court dismissed a supplementary application the petitioners were seeking to push through to support their statement of the case and the request for a review of the interrogatories ruling.
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 the supplementary statements 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 of the rules of the review jurisdiction and past rulings show that the court is empowered to grant the application.
But the nine-panel of judges, however, disagreed with Tsikata’s argument saying the application was irrelevant.
Below are excerpts of the ruling on the supplementary application case:
“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 we 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.”