Supreme Court adjourns ‘Mornah challenge’ to March 14

The Supreme Court has adjourned to Thursday, March 14, 2013 a writ filed by General Secretary of the People’s National Convention (PNC) Bernard Mornah challenging the constitutionality of Constitutional Instrument (CI) 74, because the Attorney General was not represented.

Counsel for the plaintiff told the Court when he tried to reach the AG’s office, he was informed that it had not been served.

Mr Mornah is seeking to annul portions of CI 74 which, he says, were inconsistent with the 1992 Constitution.

He argues that Rule 71b, a portion of Rule 69C(5) and a portion of Form 30 of the Supreme Court Amendment Rules 2012 of CI 74 do not appear to be in tandem with some provisions of the Constitution.

Mr Mornah said the provisions contravene Articles 133, 157, 93(2) and 11 of the Constitution and that the CI must, on the basis of that contravention, be declared null and void.

Rule 71b of CI 74 provides that the decision of the Supreme Court in respect of a petition challenging election of a President cannot be reviewed.

He said to the extent that Rule 71b of CI 74 seeks to extinguish the constitutional right in Article 133 of the Constitution, to review a decision of the Supreme Court in presidential election petitions is unconstitutional, null and void, and of no effect and praying the Court to declare so.

But even before an adjournment date could be announced, a counsel in the Election Petition challenging the validity of the 2012 presidential elections – Godfred Odame Yeboah – pleaded with the court to be heard.

He served notice that his side would like to be considered by the court in the judgement.

The Court allowed him to file a written submission by Friday, February 15, 2013 before hearing was fixed for Thursday, March 14, 2013.

Meanwhile, both plaintiff and defendants have set the memorandum of issues to be adjudicated on.

It includes a proper interpretation of Article 133.



Supreme Court adjourns NDC application to be joined to NPP petition

Hearing of the National Democratic Congress’ application to be joined to the petition filed by Messrs Nana Akufo-Addo, Mahamudu Bawumia and Jake Obetsebi-Lamptey was adjourned indefinitely after the lead counsel for the petitioners, Phillip Addison, requested the Court to take a second look at the composition of the panel.

After initially praying the Court to make his request in camera, Mr Addison was asked to formally put it in writing to the registrar.

It later emerged that the lead counsel for the petitioners wanted a change of presiding judge, Justice William Atuguba, who is apparently a cousin to Dr Raymond Atuguba, who was appointed Executive Secretary to the president on Tuesday.

The judges that were empanelled to sit on the case were Justice Sophia Akuffo, Justice Julius Ansah, Justice Annin-Yeboah, Justice Jones V. M. Dotse, Justice Rose Owusu, Justice Adinyira, Justice Vida Akoto-Bamfo, Justice P. Baffoe Bonnie with Justice William Atuguba to chair them.

The petitioners’ counsel comprised Phillip Addison, Gloria Akuffo, Fred Davis, Akoto Ampem, Kwame Akufo, Nana Asante Bediatuo, Godfred Odame, Egbert Faibille Jnr and Prof. Ken Attafuah.

Several NPP big wigs including Dr Kofi Konadu Apraku, Hackman Owusu Agyemang and Yaw Osafo Mafo were present at the Court.

The NDC was also represented by Tsatsu Tsikata, Sam Kudjoe, Barbara Asamoah, Victor Adawudu and Nana Ato Dadzie.