Monday, January 28, 2013
EC files motion for more information on petition
January 16, 2013 (Page 22) THE Electoral Commission (EC) has filed a motion at the Supreme Court requesting petitioners challenging the results of the December 7, 2012 elections to furnish it with “further and better” particulars of polling stations alleged irregularities took place. A petition to the Supreme Court, dated December 28, 2012, which had the presidential candidate of the NPP, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo; his running mate, Dr Mahamadu Bawumia, and the Chairman of the NPP, Mr Jake Otanka Obetsebi-Lamptey, as petitioners stated, among other things, that irregularities recorded at 4,709 polling stations, favoured President John Dramani Mahama. According to the petitioners, 24,000 of the pink results sheets from some polling stations indicated that those irregularities were enough to affect the outcome of the presidential election. Joined to the petition is the winner of the 2012 presidential polls, President Mahama, while the EC, which conducted the elections, was sued as an entity. The EC had in a defence dated January 7, 2013 denied claims that Nana Addo Akufo- Addo, won the elections and also denied any irregularities and electoral malpractice, as well as working deliberately to unlawfully assist President Mahama, to win the presidential poll. It subsequently prayed the court to "order the petitioners to give particulars of the polling stations in which the violations, irregularities and malpractice are alleged to have occurred". As a follow up to its defence, the EC filed a motion today, January 15, 2013, demanding additional particulars on the polling stations, constituencies and regions the alleged irregularities took place. In his defence, the President denied the petitioners allegations and accused them of attempting to “subvert” the will of the people adding he won the elections freely and fairly in the full glare of the media, domestic and international election observers. He has also indicated his intention to call 4,800 witnesses to affirm his position that he won the elections on a clean note. The much awaited hearing of the National Democratic Congress (NDC) motion to join a petition challenging the results of the December 7, 2012 presidential results, will commence at the Supreme Court in Accra today (Wednesday, January 16, 2013). The motion, which was originally billed to be moved by the NDC’s legal team on Thursday, January 10, 2013, had to be adjourned indefinitely because lawyers for the petitioners had objected to the composition of the panel. But the objection was withdrawn barely 24 hours after it had been raised in camera by one of the lawyers for the petitioners, Mr Philip Addison. Following the withdrawal of the objection, the registrar of the Supreme Court on Wednesday, January 14, 2013 served hearing notices on lawyers for the parties in the case. A former Attorney-General and Minister of Justice, Ms Gloria Akuffo is leading the legal team for the petitioners while Mr Tony Lithur and Mr Tsatsu Tsikata, are leading a number of lawyers to make a case for the President and the NDC respectively. The EC will be represented by Mr James Quashie-Idun and other lawyers. A nine-member panel, presided over by Mr Justice William Atuguba, with Mr Justice Julius Ansah, Mrs Justice Sophia Adinyira, Ms Justice Rose Owusu, Mr Justice Jones Dotse, Mr Justice Annin Yeboah, Mr P. Baffoe-Bonnie, Mr Justice G. S. Gbadegbe and Mrs Justice Vida Akoto-Bamfo as panel members are expected to hear the motion on whether or not the NDC should be allowed to join the petition.