The presidential candidate of the National Democratic Congress (NDC) in the 2020 elections, Mr John Mahama, has accused the legal counsel of the Electoral Commission (EC) led by Mr Justin Amenuvor and the court of aiding the Chairperson of the election management body, Mrs Jean Mensa, to avoid testifying as a witness in the just-ended election petition.
Speaking to the media on Thursday evening, Mr Mahama said that the 2020 election petition was historic because Ghanaians will always remember that moment when my lead counsel, Mr. Tsatsu Tsikata, quoted from the Holy Bible urging the Justices of the Supreme Court to be faithful to their Judicial Oath and their conscience, only for the lawyer representing Nana Akufo-Addo, the 2nd Respondent, to argue for the exclusion of God in the matter. Yet, in the courts of Ghana, we swear on the Bible or the Cross, as we also do with the Holy Koran, to speak the truth and nothing but the truth.
“Ghanaians will also remember this 2021 Election Petition for that profound moment when the Chairperson of the Electoral Commission opted to evade public scrutiny.
“Everything was done in this trial to prevent the Commission from accounting to the people in whose name they hold office”.
“Requests for Interrogatories were dismissed. A request to inspect documents in the possession of the Commission was turned down. The request for admission of facts was ignored.
“Worse still, she was aided by her counsel and the court to avoid explaining to the good people of Ghana from her own testimony, under oath in a properly constituted court of law, the errors she herself admits to have committed in the declaration of the 2020 Presidential election results.
“This is a clear stab in the heart of transparency and accountability to the sovereign people of Ghana. Whatever the reasons for not allowing Mrs. Jean Mensa to testify or answer any questions, it leaves an embarrassing stain, not only on our justice delivery system but also, on the nation’s electoral system, which has deepened the grave doubts harboured by many Ghanaians about the true outcome of the December 2020 Presidential Election”, Mr Mahama said.
Mr Mahama further expressed worry over what he said is “a dangerous precedent” because the court restrained Mrs Mensa from mounting the witness box to testify.
“The motto of Ghana’s Electoral Commission is Transparency, Fairness and Integrity – principles the key actors clearly failed to live up to on this occasion. The refusal to account to Ghanaians, further, sets the worrying precedent – and I do really worry about this dangerous precedent – that may allow other heads of state institutions to adopt an approach of opacity and non-accountability in their work”.
“Just because they can rely on unconvincing interpretations of our laws to shield them from scrutiny in the near future. I hope and pray that time will prove me wrong,” he further noted.
Earlier, the Supreme Court upheld the results of last year’s presidential election, saying the petitioner failed to prove that the winner did not cross the constitutionally required threshold of more than 50 per cent of the votes cast.
The judgment means President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo will continue in office as President until his second term is over.
Nana Akufo-Addo polled 51.3 per cent of the valid votes, according to figures from the Electoral Commission while the petitioner, who was the 2020 flag bearer of the National Democratic Congress (NDC), Mr John Mahama, polled 47 per cent.
Delivering the judgment, Chief Justice Anin-Yeboah said: “The petition is dismissed as without merit.”
According to the court, the correction of an error concerning the total number of valid votes cast by the EC Chairperson, Mrs Jean Mensa, was within her mandate and did not affect the will of the people.
Also, the court said Mr Johnson Asiedu Nketia, General Secretary of the NDC and first witness of the petitioner, confirmed admitted in court during his cross-examination that per the EC’s figures, Nana Akufo-Addo crossed the more-than 50 per cent threshold.
The Bench also said no credible evidence was adduced by the petitioner to contradict the figures announced by the EC.
Source: Class FM