Friday, January 11, 2013

It's Atuguba, NDC reveals

January 11, 2013 (Front Page) One of the lawyers for the National Democratic Congress (NDC), Nana Ato Dadzie, has revealed the identity of the Supreme Court judge who is opposed by the New Patriotic Party (NPP ) to sit on the Supreme Court hearing the motion for joinder to the petition challenging the results of the December 7 presidential poll. According to Nana Dadzie, lawyers for the petitioners challenging the 2012 presidential election were of the view that Mr Justice William Atuguba should be exempted because he was a cousin of Dr Raymond Atuguba, the newly appointed Executive Secretary to President John Dramani Mahama. The leadership and lawyers for the NPP were tight-lipped on naming the judge they were opposed to, but in a press briefing immediately after the court sitting, Nana Dadzie told journalists that the NPP legal team had indicated during a meeting with the judges, in the presence of other lawyers in the case, that they expected Mr Justice Atuguba to recuse himself because of the likelihood of bias. Flanked by Dr Dominic Ayine and Mr Victor K. Adawudu, both members of the NDC legal team, Nana Dadzie told reporters that some members of the NPP had, prior to the hearing of the motion for joinder, gone on a private radio station to state the name of the judge they were opposed to. He said the matter was of grave interest to the public and it was, therefore, unfortunate for the NPP to treat the case in such a manner. However, the lead counsel for the NPP, Ms Gloria Akuffo, denied the notion that the NPP was out there to harm the stability of the country. She argued that it was because the party believed in the rule of law that its leadership was pursuing the matter in court. She was, however, tight-lipped when asked to give the name of the judge her clients were opposed to. The petitioners — Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, the NPP’s presidential candidate in the December 2012 elections; his running mate, Dr Mahamadu Bawumia, and the Chairman of the NPP, Mr Jake Obetsebi-Lamptey — claim irregularities recorded during the election favoured the President Mahama, noting that 24,000 of the pink result sheets from some polling stations indicated that those irregularities were enough to affect the results. However, the EC, which has also been joined to the petition, has denied any wrongdoing, arguing that the results it declared were credible and accurate. Meanwhile, the court has adjourned hearing on the NDC’s application for joinder sine die to enable lawyers for the petitioners to put their objection in writing. Nana Akufo-Addo is opposed to the application for joinder on grounds that it was calculated to delay the case.

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