Nana Akufo-Addo, deserves no hero-worshipping nor adulation for accepting the verdict of the Supreme Court, after an 8-month-long legal haggle, Tsatsu Tsikata, Lead Counsel for one of the Respondents – the governing National Democratic Congress, has said.
Akufo-Addo, who was the flagbearer of the opposition New Patriotic Party, was the first petitioner in last year’s legal battle over the 2012 presidential results.
“I certainly am glad that there was no attempt to continue contesting the decision, but I don’t see how a hero’s status could be earned by just saying that you respect the decision even though you don’t agree,” Tsikata said Tuesday.
“…Of course, it was opened to them to go for a review: if they wanted to, the rules allowed them to,” the former Chief Executive Officer of the Ghana National Petroleum Corporation (GNPC) averred in an interview.
Nana Akufo-Addo, together with his running mate in the 2012 presidential election, Dr Mahamudu Bawumia, and the party’s Chairman at the time, Jake Obetsebi-Lamptey, challenged the results of the December presidential election on grounds that there were too many irregularities that marred the sanctity and integrity of the final results declared by the country’s Electoral Commission.
They prayed the West African country’s highest court to nullify the results. A nine-member panel of Justices, led by William Atuguba, however, upheld the victory of John Mahama, after the long legal battle.
Akufo-Addo, eventually, conceded. “I disagree with the court’s decision, but I accept it and I ask all our supporters to accept the verdict,” the former Attorney General said immediately after the August 29, 2013 Court verdict.
“We shall not ask for a review so we can all move on,” the two-time presidential candidate added.
Various civil society organisations, including the National Peace Council, applauded Akufo-Addo for his concession. People within his party have always made the point that the country could have been plunged into mayhem had the former foreign affairs minister not been magnanimous.
One year after the verdict, Tsikata, who led the NDC’s legal team in court, has differed with Akufo-Addo’s admirers, who advocate a hero’s recognition of his magnanimity.
“Some people even like to say they could have resorted to violence but chose to go to court. I worry about that again because I don’t think that anybody should be patted on the back for not resorting to violence because violence is simply not an appropriate cause of action,” he told private FM station, Radio Gold in an hour-long interview.
“It should be out of the question, quite simply,” he said; adding, “And then you know, when it comes to the decision itself, as I have stated, I mean that was the only really feasible decision that could have been taken in terms of the case that was presented, so accepting that decision does not, in my view, call for a hero’s status, but, perhaps, in terms of the internal dynamics of the NPP itself, and the fact that they were completely reluctant to acknowledge that the case really didn’t hold, it was good for somebody who had been at the forefront of presenting the case, to just say that: ‘Ok let’s end the matter the way the judges have decided and let’s move on as a country,” Tsikata argued.
Tsikata nonetheless said Akufo-Addo’s concession was “definitely a good thing.”
“I also applauded the statement that was made by Nana Akufo-Addo at the time, but I don’t think that one should give a hero’s medal on account of that,” he disagreed.