AUGUST 28, 2013 (Lead Story)
COURTS within the Supreme Court building and the Fast Track High Court area will not sit tomorrow, August 29, 2013, the day set aside for the delivery of judgement in the presidential election petition.
According to the management of the Judicial Service, the decision formed part of security measures instituted to ensure that security on the court premises and inside the courtroom was not compromised in any way.
In an interview with the Daily Graphic in Accra yesterday, the Judicial Secretary, Mr Justice Alex Poku-Acheampong, said the Judicial Service was poised to ensure that it conducted its national assignment effectively.
The affected courts include the Civil and Criminal Divisions of the Court of Appeal, some High courts, offices for judicial staff, Fast Track High Court One to Six and the Commercial Court.
Other affected courts are the Financial, Labour and Human Rights courts, their various registries, as well as offices.
In effect, non-accredited staff of the Judicial Service and members of the public would not be allowed within the inner and outer perimeters of the Supreme Court.
A statement signed by Mr Justice Poku-Acheampong and issued on August 22, 2013 urged non-accredited members of the public to monitor the judgement from their radio and television sets.
Per the statement, only four groups of persons had been accredited to enter the court premises on judgement day — the parties in the case, lawyers, journalists and representatives of the security agencies.
The Judicial Service also implored party functionaries, former and current Ministers of State, former and current parliamentarians who wished to witness the delivery of the judgement to contact the headquarters of their various parties for accreditation.
Meanwhile, the Police Administration has warned the public to stay a 100-metre radius away from the court premises.
Security will also be beefed up on the court premises on that day.
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• The petition was filed on December 28, 2012, alleging irregularities of over-voting, persons voting without undergoing biometric verification, some presiding officers not signing pink sheets (statement of poll and declaration of results forms for the office of president and parliament) and some pink sheets having duplicated serial numbers.
• The presidential candidate of the New Patriotic Party (NPP) in the December 2012 presidential election, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo; his running mate, Dr Mahamadu Bawumia, and the Chairman of the NPP, Mr Jake Obetsebi-Lamptey, are calling for the annulment of 3,931,339 votes in 10,119 polling stations and the subsequent declaration of Nana Akufo-Addo as president.
• But the respondents, who are President John Dramani Mahama, the Electoral Commission (EC) and the National Democratic Congress (NDC), are praying the court to dismiss the petitioners’ claims because they are without basis and have not been proved.
• Evidence gathering has ended and the lawyers have since addressed the court on salient issues. Judgement will be delivered on August 29, 2013.