…Against Less Than 20-Page Documents Filed By EC, Prez Mahama And NDC
By Larry Dogbey
The defeated New Patriotic Party (NPP) flagbearer, Nana Akufo-Addo and the other two Petitioners with their team of lawyers, challenging the Presidential results at the Supreme Court, yesterday did the unthinkable by filing a shocking 16 big boxes of legal addresses in the Elections Petition case, seeking to overturn the victory of President John Dramani Mahama.
Amazingly, President Mahama, the National Democratic Congress (NDC) and Electoral Commission (EC), separately filed rather short legal addresses, less than 20-pages, asking the Supreme Court to throw out Nana Addo and other two petitioners, since they failed to prove the allegations, including calling witnesses to buttress their claims.
Legal addresses are a well-comprised summary of a litigant’s case and the response of the defendant on paper. It is usually done by parties in both civil and criminal cases, after evidence has been led in a case. But in the case of the NPP, the boxes are holding thousands of documents as well as a CD ROMs.
They are to give the parties the opportunity to sum up the evidence adduced so far in the case, argue on relevant issues raised, punch holes into each other’s case and attempt to convince the court as to why the status quo of the presidency should be maintained or changed.
The Supreme Court registry is said to have returned two of the 16 boxes to Nana Addo and his team of lawyers.
It is unclear what accounted for the rather large number of boxes of paper sent to the Supreme Court. It is also unclear whether materials earlier rejected by the nine Supreme Court justices, especially the CD versions of materials, alleging irregularities, omissions, constitutional and statutory violations identified on the Pink Sheets are in the big boxes.
The Court resumes sitting today to receive the addresses. It is expected to set a date to deliver final judgment on the matter.
The three Petitioners, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, the opposition New Patriotic Party’s 2012 Presidential Candidate; his running mate Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia and National Chairman Jake Obetsebi-Lamptey went to Court to challenge the results on grounds that the 2012 elections were fraught with malpractices and irregularities.
All the Respondents in the case also filed their addresses at the Supreme Court late yesterday afternoon to beat a July 30, deadline set by the judges hearing the case.
The EC, the second Respondent in the Presidential Election Petition was led by the Head of Audit, Joseph Asamoah ,who submitted a 15 paged document, 19 copies each, in a vehement defence of their claim that the 2012 elections were free and fair.
Lawyers for the first respondent-President John Mahama led by Tony Lithur filed a separate address, from the address filed by the third respondent which is the NDC.
Lawyer Victor Adawudu filed both on behalf of the president and the NDC. President Mahama filed a 20 paged document each with an appendix attached to it.
The filing of the addresses marks the beginning of the end of a seven month long Petition against the 2012 elections declared by the EC.
The judges have 15 days to give a judgement after a successful filing of the addresses, but before that they will give directions on what the next line of action will be today.
It is also unclear whether the 16,000 votes ex-President Kufuor talked about to the Africa Union (AU) President, Yayi Boni, claimed were added to that of Mr. Mahama of the NDC, to shore up his figures and to guarantee victory in the election, adding that these manipulations cannot be swept under the carpet, and insisted that the NPP was going to provide evidence.
At the meeting, ex-President Kufuor told the AU Chairman and President of Benin, Yayi Boni, when he paid a courtesy call on him at his Dzorwulu residence the Monday after the elections, saying the NPP has enough evidence to show that figures were massaged to favour the NDC.
The AU chair wanted ex-president Kufuor to prevail upon the NPP flagbearer, Nana Akufo-Addo to concede defeat in a closely fought election, which saw the NPP candidate lose by a little over 300,000 votes to the incumbent, President John Mahama.
The ex-president said, Nana Akufo-Addo feels cheated in an election dogged with several manipulations of figures.
Mr. Kufuor said, the country had invested over GH¢100 million in the EC to conduct a peaceful, free and fair elections, but the happenings, during and after the elections, have not justified the investment made in them, accusing the EC of not been above the law, a position which he said, should not be tolerated.
At the time ex-President Kufuor, was making these comments, NPP fanatic had besieged Obra Spot at Kwame Nkrumah Circle in Accra, vandalizing cars and other properties, beating up innocent people with sticks, clubs among other implements.
Journalists from Joy FM, TV3, Metro TV, Peace FM and other media houses were beaten, with some injured, as the NPP fanatics described them as bias, because they had declared provisional election result for the NDC.
Andy Ntiamoah, Sammy Boadi of TV3, Naa Kwarley Quartey of Metro TV, Manasseh Awuni, Azuri, Sedem Ofori and Kojo Oppong Nkrumah all of Joy FM, were either attacked physically or verbally.
The NPP later sent Nana Akomea and Oboshie Sai-Coffie to apologise on its behalf, of the false accusations and violence visited on the above mentioned journalists and their media houses.
With the high tension and insecurity, Agoo FM and Radio Gold, had to request for Police and Military protection to be able to broadcast.
At the busy commercial hub of Accra, Makola traders had to flee for fear of their dear lives, as some NPP fanatics had beaten up one NDC woman, leading her party’s fanatics also charging into the Rawlings Park area of the market with machetes in reprisal attacks.
Sammy Awuku, had earlier led other thugs to the offices of the Superlock Technology Limited (STL), an Israeli private company, claiming that they had massaged electoral results for the NDC. Not even pleas from ex-Nigerian President Olusegun Obasanjo, were heeded as the thugs threatened to burn the company.
But when the gate was opened for the NPP to file its petition to the Supreme Court, it took months. No case of vote rigging was pleaded, although word on the streets especially Kumasi and Koforidua were that the EC had rigged the elections for John Mahama.
Lawyer Philip Addison, who attempted to prove rigging, specifically mentioned the Ledzokuku Constituency as one of the areas where about 15,000 votes were padded in favour of President Mahama.
But Mr. Tsatsu Tsikata, the NDC lead counsel described his claim as a “patent falsehood” forcing Philip Addison to abandon the claim. Mr. Tsikata had described the NPP’s case at the Supreme Court as a “fishing expedition”.
Lawyer Philip Addison, later withdrew the claim of direct stealing of votes from Nana Addo votes and adding it to that of John Mahama.