Mahama’s request to inspect EC’s documents failed to meet legal standards – Oppong Nkrumah
Kojo Oppong Nkrumah, one of the spokespersons for President Akufo-Addo, 2nd Respondent, in the ongoing election petition hearing has explained that the request by the petitioner, John Mahama, to inspect documents of the Electoral Commission, 1st Respondent, was denied because arguments advanced by his legal team failed to meet legal standards.
He also rebuked persons saying the EC is trying to hide some relevant information because it objected to the request.
According to him, such claims, mainly from the quarters of the opposition National Democratic Congress, are propaganda and should be ignored by Ghanaians.
“With the greatest of respect, I call it, the propaganda question. It is not a question of law but a propaganda question. The law is clear about the legal threshold that must be met to be granted the discretion of the court to go and inspect originals of documents”, he said on The Point of View on Wednesday.
John Dramani Mahama had wanted to inspect all the original documents of the Electoral Commission due to the differences in the number of total valid votes cast and other results in the declared results.
But the application which was objected to by lawyers of the two respondents was also in a unanimous decision dismissed by the Justices of the Supreme Court who according to them found it misconceived given the fact that the petitioner already had in his possession, carbonated copies of the documents in question.
“That legal threshold has nothing to do with whether a party intends to hide something. The law is that you have to demonstrate necessity. We all heard the arguments when the respected Tsatsu Tsikata attempted to demonstrate necessity, but he didn’t meet that threshold and the Justices of the Supreme Court came back with a clear response that there are legal standards to be met before such requests are granted.”
Lead counsel for the petitioner, Tsatsu Tsikata argued in court that his client is entitled to inspect the documents of the EC for confirmation of disputed figures but counsels of the respondents objected to the request.
They claimed the timing of the application was wrong adding that the petitioner also failed to produce documents and evidence of his own in court.
They also accused the petitioner of attempting to shift the burden of proof to the EC through the back door.
Mr. Oppong Nkrumah further noted that the petitioner cannot, therefore, sway the public with the matter stating that, “I say this with the greatest respect and deference to my seniors in law; if you don’t meet that standard, don’t throw a propaganda question and say if you don’t’ have anything to hide why don’t you show the documents” because that is not law.
Commenting on why the petitioner continues to have his application rejected by the apex court, Mr. Oppong Nkrumah disclosed that, it was because the motions that Mr. Mahama’s legal team file “do not meet the legal threshold to convince the court.”