President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo and Mrs. Jean Adukwei Mensa, the Chairperson of the Electoral Commission (EC), last Friday filed their respective witness statements in the ongoing 2020 election petition before the Supreme Court.
President Akufo-Addo gave the power of attorney to his campaign manager, Mr. Peter Mac Manu, to testify as a witness in the case.
In the statement, Mr. Mac Manu argued that the case of the petitioner, former President John Mahama, was largely conjectural and born out of the imagination of the petitioner.
According to him, the material facts pleaded by Mr. Mahama do not support the reliefs being sought by the petitioner.
Mr. Mac Manu stated that the petitioner mounted his attack on insignificant inaccuracies and slips in the declaration of the results of the 2020 Presidential election rather than the validity of the election and actual results thereof.
In sum, therefore, Nana Akufo-Addo, the second respondent, said the petitioner’s deliberate failure or calculated refusal to recognize these simple, logical, and self-evident matters had led the petitioner to erroneously seek another election [a run-off] based on insignificant errors and false empty suppositions.
Mrs. Mensa, for her part, denied allegations of vote padding and that the petitioner was not entitled to reliefs being claimed.
She said the actual figures obtained by President Akufo-Addo met the “more than 50 percent threshold” stipulated in Article 63(3) of the 1992 Constitution.
Former President Mahama has urged the Supreme Court to annul the result of the December presidential polls as none of the candidates who contested the election obtained the required 50 percent plus one of the total votes cast.
Mr. Mahama is also asking the Apex Court for an order of injunction restraining Nana Akufo-Addo from holding himself out as President-elect.
Again, the former President wants the court to order the EC to organize a second election with himself and Nana Akufo-Addo as the only two candidates.
Mr. Mahama, through his lawyer, Tony Lithur, argued that the EC Chairperson, Jean Mensa, announced the total valid votes cast as 13,434,574, minus the results of Techiman South, with President Akufo-Addo obtaining 6,730,413 of the votes, representing 51.595 percent of the votes while he (Mahama) got 6,214,889 representing 47.366 percent of the votes.
In his response, counsel for President Nana Akufo-Addo, Mr. Akoto Ampaw, described the petition as incompetent, devoid of substance, and did not measure up to the legal criteria or an action invoking the jurisdiction of the apex court under Article 64(1) of the Constitution, 1992.
He said the petition was merely conjectural and born out of the petitioner’s unfounded imagination, and that the material facts in the petition did not support the reliefs sought.
Mr. Ampaw argued that the election petition did not disclose any attack on the validity of the election held throughout the 38,622 polling stations and 311 special voting centers.
The second respondent contended that the petitioner “only devotes an overwhelming portion of the petition(30 out of 35 paragraphs) to weak and inconsistent complaints about the “declaration of the winner” of the election by 1st Respondent, and the remaining five(5) paragraphs to empty allegations of “the wrong aggregation of votes” and “votes padding”, which collectively involve about 6,622 votes- an amount patently insignificant to materially affect the outcome of an election in which 2nd respondent defeated petitioner by well over 500,000 votes.”
He averred that even though the petitioner, from reliefs sought, claimed that no candidate obtained more than 50 percent of valid votes cast in the election, and therefore was seeking a second election between the two leading candidates, the petitioner did not indicate the number of valid votes or a percentage thereof that he should have obtained in the election or the number of votes or percentage thereof that the second respondent should have obtained to support the relief of a request for a rerun.
The EC, in its response, also said the petition was incompetent.
Its counsel, Mr. Amenuvor of the Amenuvor and Associates, stated that his client had put in place a system to help it deliver a seamless and timely collation of results.
The counsel said numerous requests for recounts at polling stations and re-collation at the constituency and regional collation centers raised by candidates and agents that were attended to in accordance with the rules governing the election did not allow for the prompt tallying and collation of the results as expected.
The EC said it had admitted that in reading out the results on December 9, 2020, its Chairperson inadvertently read out the figure representing the total number of votes cast as the figure representing the total number of valid votes, and the percentage of the second respondent as 51.59 percent instead of 51.295 percent.
Again, the EC stated on December 10, 2020, it made a correction and clarification of the results declared on December 9 through a press release, but added that the correction and clarification did not affect the overall results as declared.
The EC contended that a tabulation of all the valid votes obtained by the candidates in the declaration of December 9 was 13,121,111 and not 13 434,574, which represented the total votes cast and the petitioner was therefore well aware that 13,434,574 declared as the total valid votes was an error.