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Politics

Election Petition will be over by “first week in July” – Lawyer

The Election Petition will be over by the first week in July, Dr Maurice Ampaw, President of the Legal Advocacy Foundation has predicted.

He also conjectured that Tsatsu Tsikata, the lead counsel of the third respondent, will be done with his cross-examination by Wednesday, May 22, 2013.

Speaking on TV3’s Midday Live on Friday, Dr Ampaw indicated that the judges’ adaptation in hearing will see proceedings expedited.

“The judges are now managing the case very well,” he told Portia Solomon.

“They are looking at the relevance of the questions [posed during cross-examination],” he observed.

Dr Ampaw noted that keenness of the judges to prevent counsel from repeating questions will see the case over and done with by July.

Many have criticized Mr Tsikata for “delaying” the process with his cross-examination and by Dr Ampaw’s prediction, Wednesday will be his 14th day of interrogation.

He pointed out that Mr Tsatsu as a lawyer wants to puncture evidence submitted by the second petitioner and so: “We should not try to gag him”.


Source: 3news.com|Ghana

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Politics

Election Petition: Ayariga calls for telecast only on weekends or after working hours

Presidential candidate for the People’s National Convention (PNC) in the 2012 Elections Hassan Abdulai Ayariga has appealed to the Chief Justice to order the stop of airing of hearing on the election petition during productive hours.

He postulated that broadcast of hearing during working hours puts some Ghanaians including students and teachers at a disadvantage as they also want to follow proceedings.

Mr Ayariga, a businessman and an accountant, called for hearing to be broadcast after each working day or on weekends.

“Every office you enter into in Accra, people have mounted television sets and all they do is to watch the live proceedings,” Mr Ayariga said. “We are not against the live proceedings of the petition. If it is on Saturdays or Sundays, that’s fine. But people have resorted to watching the television rather than working and it is causing the nation so much and that is what we are against.”

He said the call for live broadcast was as a result ignorance.

“We didn’t know it was going to affect productivity,” he observed.

“Now that we know it is affecting productivity, we are appealing to them to either stop or they should record it so that after working hours, people can now sit down comfortably in their homes and watch it.”

Substantive hearing of the election petition has taken seven days so far and proceedings have been broadcast live on each day.

The idea to broadcast live proceedings was mooted by the Danquah Institute, a media, research and policy analysis think-tank, and endorsed by Chief Justice Georgina Theodora Woode on the eve of start of hearing.


Source: 3news.com|Ghana

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Politics

Election Petition: Asiedu Nketia to be NDC’s star witness

General Secretary of the National Democratic Congress (NDC) Johnson Asiedu Nketia is expected to mount the witness box as the star witness for the third respondent.

This was disclosed by the Deputy General Secretary of the party, George Lawson in an interview with TV3’s special correspondents stationed at the Supreme Court.

Mr Lawson pointed out on Monday that his boss is fired up to narrate their side of the  issue concerning the ongoing hearing of the petition that is challenging the party’s winning of the 2012 Elections.

Asiedu Nketia also represents the first respondent as stated in his affidavit filed at the Supreme Court.

“I am the General Secretary of the 3rd respondent. I swear to this affidavit for and on behalf of His Excellency the President, John Dramani Mahama, (1st respondent), and the 3rd respondent, I attach hereto, marked as Exhibit ‘JAN 1’ a power of Attorney executed by the 1st respondent empowering me to do so on his behalf,” reads his affidavit dated April 2, 2013.

Hearing of the substantive petition began on April 16, 2013 with Dr Mahamudu Bawumia, the second petitioner, becoming the first person to mount the witness box.

Source: 3news.com|Ghana

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Politics

Election petition must not be win-lose contest – WANEP

The West Africa Network for Peacebuilding (WANEP) Ghana has advised the election petitioners and respondents at the Supreme Court to view the process as a means to address the challenges of the electoral system.

WANEP-Ghana says it should not be a win-lose contest.

Mr Justin Bayor, National Network Coordinator of WANEP-Ghana made this known in a statement issued in Tamale as part of the quarterly alert brief of the body.

It called on stakeholders to educate the public, especially the youth, to be civil and avoid taking positions publicly on the outcome of the petition,

“In this regard, parties and factions should discourage statements that might provoke… violence,” it said.

The statement appealed to the Supreme Court to do due diligence in resolving the election petition dispute promptly, justly and in the interest of the nation.

The statement said, under the period under review a total of 96 violence related incidents were recorded by their early warning system.

Out of the number, political and governance related issues constituted 20 per cent.

WANEP-Ghana said the increasing number of meetings of politically affiliated groups, which act as pressure and accountability groups, is becoming a worrying phenomenon.

It noted that public pronouncements by members of the key parties in Court have the tendency to create mistrust in the process, discredit the outcome and could promote the potential for violence.

Source: GNA

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Politics

Election Petition: No party supporters to be allowed into Supreme Court premises

The Ghana Police Service has advised party followers who plan trooping to the premises of the Supreme Court in Accra from Tuesday, April 16, 2013 – when hearing on the substantive petition brought against the Electoral Commission (EC), John Dramani Mahama and the National Democratic Congress (NDC) begins – to reconsider such plan.

The Service will not entertain party supporters at the Court, Deputy Superintendent of Police (DSP) Freeman Tettey warned.

Speaking on TV3’s Midday Live on Monday, DSP Freeman Tettey, the Greater Accra Region Public Relations Officer of the Service, disclosed that strict measures have been put in place to ensure law and order at the Court.

“Our concern is mostly the crowd and we will do our best to discourage them,” DSP Tettey said.

He noted that the Motor Traffic and Transport Unit (MTTU) of the Service will also be on hand to ensure smooth flow of traffic.

He explained that persons without accreditation will not be allowed into the Court.

“We will strictly go by accreditation,” he stressed.

DSP Tettey revealed that police personnel will start surveillance at 4:00am on Tuesday but “there will be a change-over as and when”.

“We have the numbers that will contain the situation.”

Hearing of preliminary submissions on the Election Petition witnessed intermittent clashes between police and some groups of people to the extent that canes were wielded at one time to fight the police.


Source: 3news.com|Ghana

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Politics

Mornah wins Election Petition suit

General Secretary of the People’s National Convention (PNC) Bernard Mornah has won a writ he filed at the Supreme Court challenging an earlier ruling that hearing on election disputes must be a daily affair.

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

The PNC scribe argued that provisions in CI 74 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.

The Court ruled on Tuesday that it was unconstitutional to sit on holidays and has also given parties in election disputes a right to appeal verdicts.

Speaking to TV3’s Thomas Adotei Pappoe moments after the verdict, Mr Mornah commended his legal team for winning this case, adding: “It doesn’t matter anyone who loses because any one can enjoy the full lengths of the law.”

“It is victory for me and victory for you too because you would have been here tomorrow [on May Day] if the law had not been changed,” he told Thomas Pappoe concerning hearing of election disputes on statutory public holidays.

Source: 3news.com|Ghana

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Quarshie-Idun continues cross-examination of Dr Bawumia on resumption of Election Petition hearing

The cross-examination of second petitioner and star witness for the petitioners, Dr Mahamudu Bawumia, will continue on Monday, April 29, 2013 when hearing of the Election Petition resumes.

The Petition is challenging the declaration of President John Dramani Mahama as winner of the 2012 Presidential Polls.

So far, Dr Bawumia has been led by his counsel, Phillip Addison, to deliver evidence regarding the affidavit filed at the Supreme Court.

He was subsequently cross-examined by Tony Lithur, lead counsel for the first respodent.

James Quarshie-Idun, lead counsel for the second respondent, will continue cross-examining Dr Bawumia on Monday after praying the court on Thursday, April 25, 2013 for hearing to be adjourned, citing fatigue. He started cross-examining the 2012 Vice Presidential candidate on sixth day of hearing after Mr Lithur had taken four days to cross-examine Dr Bawumia.

The landmark election petition was filed on December 28, 2012 originally against the Electoral Commission (EC) and John Dramani Mahama. However, a joinder application later filed by the National Democratic Congress (NDC) was accepted.

As a result, an amended petition from Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo (1st Petitioner), Dr Mahamudu Bawumia (2nd Petitioner) and Jake Obetsebi-:amptey (3rd Petitioner) cites John Dramani Mahama as the 1st respondent to their suit while the EC and the NDC are the 2nd and 3rd respondents.

A nine-member panel is hearing the case.

Members of that panel are Justice Julius Ansah, Justice Sophia Adinyira, Justice Rose Owusu and Justice Jones Dotse.

Others are Justice Annin Yeboah, Justice Baffoe-Bonnie and Justice N. S. Gbadegbe.

The rest are Justice Vida Akoto-Bamfo and Justice William Atuguba, the presiding judge.

Source: 3news.com|Ghana

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Politics

NPP planning violence if Court rules against Election Petition – Young Democrats

The youth wing of the National Democratic Congress (NDC), Young Democrats, have expressed worry over recent pronouncements of leading members of the opposition New Patriotic Party (NPP) saying it is a “grand scheme by the leadership of the NPP to throw darkness and evil on the peace and development that the country currently enjoys”.

In a statement, the Young Democrats warned the likes of Ken Ofori-Atta and Gabby Otchere-Darko that the law will deal with them if “they try anything sinister”.

Below is the full statement:

NPP, ASARE OTCHERE-DARKO PLOTS & CO. PLOTS TO UNLEASH VIOLENCE BUT PEACE AND THE RULE OF LAW WILL PREVAIL. YOUNG DEMOCRATS.

Leadership of Young Democrats are extremely worried about the penchant of the NPP and its leaders to quickly spit fire of violence and threats to the Justices of the supreme courts in respect of the impending election 2012 court case, yet to be determined.

It will be recalled that the Africa Watch Magazine recently alleged that Nana Akufo-Addo and the NPP were scheming to bring about chaos if the Supreme Court ruled against the party.

This was part of a grand scheme by the leadership of the NPP to throw darkness and evil on the peace and development that the country currently enjoys. We all recalled the infamous “all die be die” and “we have to win the election at all cost” statements declared by Nana Akufo-Addo. We also recall failed calls by the NPP on its members to go on the streets to jubilate at a time when the EC was yet to declare the presidential results.

As if it was not enough, when these wicked orchestrations failed, the NPP violent group quickly metamorphosed into “Let My Votes Count” gallivanting the length and breadth of this country with diabolical plans to throw bombs on schools and innocent Ghanaians going about their normal duties amongst various threats of death and violence on the Supreme Court judges.

Just recently, Hon. Matthew Opoku Prempeh was also heard on air threatening the Supreme Court judges on the NDC joinder case if judgment went in the joinders’ favour.

So why will Asare Otchere-Darko see his own mentor Nana Addo as a weak leader and assert that Ghanaians are lucky Nana Addo chose the cheap option of seeking redress? Does the NPP feel the prescriptions from the 1992 Constitution to pursue electoral disputes are cheap? Do they (NPP) believe in the Rule of Law at all?

If the NPP and Nana Addo think the path of going to a competent court of jurisdiction to seek redress is weak, then why did they in the first place chose that path?

Could it be that they (NPP) wanted to only buy time with the slow court processes so that they can hatch evil on Ghanaian?

The NPP indeed represents a REAL AXIS OF EVIL in Ghanaian politics and should be watched carefully.

Young Democrats also wish to assure Ken Ofori Atta, Asare Ochere-Darko and the NPP that the law will deal with them severely should they try anything sinister.

We (Young Democrats) also wish to assure Ghanaians that those who plan in the night to rain violence on us are all timorous and does not believe in the forward march and should be exposed never to lead this nation.

We also condemn the NPP and Nana Addo who have remained silent on these matters. Civil society organizations, religious leaders and all stakeholders of Corporate Ghana should as a matter of urgency come out to condemn these violent attitudes of the NPP and their leaders to order, before things fall apart.

Young Democrats will continue to support H.E President Dramani Mahama and all well meaning Ghanaians whose objective is to promote peace, security and the rule of law in the country.

God bless the people of Ghana and God bless Ghana

Signed

Atukwei Quaye Sam

Source: 3news.com|Ghana

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Politics

Election Petition: Kenya’s example should tell NPP and Nana Addo they are headed ‘for hell’ – Asiedu Nketia

General Secretary of the National Democratic Congress (NDC) Johnson Asiedu Nketia has told the New Patriotic Party (NPP) and their 2012 Presidential Candidate, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, that the verdict of Kenya’s Election Petition is a sign that they will lose their 2012 Election Petition at the Supreme Court.

The Supreme Court of Kenya on Saturday, March 30, 2013 ruled out a petition brought before it by Prime Minister Raila Odinga, who lost the March 4 elections to Uhuru Kenyatta by about 8, 000 votes.

Speaking in an interview on Peace FM, an Accra-based radio station, after Kenya Chief Justice Willy Mutunga’s verdict, Mr Asiedu Nketia argued that NPP and Nana Addo trumpeted across the country that Kenya’s Odinga was following the footsteps of Nana Addo by filing a petition against the declaration of Mr Kenyatta as president.

“Therefore, if [Raila] Odinga has lost the petition, it should tell you what will be the verdict of NPP’s petition,” he added.

Mr Asiedu Nketia explained that prior to Kenya’s elections, Dr Kwadwo Afari-Gyan, the Chairman of Ghana’s Electoral Commission, was consulted on the organization of polls in the East African nation.

He observed that after learning from Ghana’s Electoral Commission, if a court has declared that all was well and that the elections were “free and fair”, then Ghana’s should be marked excellent.

“Ghana’s EC is noted worldwide,” he stressed.

Mr Asiedu Nketia was, however, worried Ghana’s election disputes are considered a normal litigation and so could drag on unnecessarily.

“For Kenya’s, one month was given for a special court to declare verdict,” he said.

He suggested that there should be a review of Ghana’s laws over election petitions, after the current one filed by Nana Addo, his 2012 election running mate Dr Mahamudu Bawumia and their party’s chairman Jake Obetsebi-Lamptey.

NPP’s General Secretary Kwadwo Owusu Afriyie disagreed with his opposite number in the NDC, saying the UN Secretary General, Ban Ki-moon, cited Ghana’s Election Petition in a message to wish Kenyans well prior to their elections.

He noted Nana Addo’s example has stemmed election disputes on African streets and that most losing presidential candidates resort to the law courts in challenging results.

He also expressed concern that Kenya’s example of showing court proceedings live on television should be adopted in Ghana so that Ghanaians can follow the plot of the 2012 suit.

He said parties in Kenya prior to hearing of the petition pledged to accept any verdict and that is what Ghana’s parties including the NDC should do.

Source: 3news.com|Ghana

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Politics

Minority’s walkout betrays their Election Petition in court – Odike

2012 Flagbearer of the United Front Party (UFP) Akwasi ‘Odike’ Addai has described the walkout staged by the Minority prior to President John Dramani Mahama’s state of the nation address as betrayal of the Election Petition three leading members of the New Patriotic Party (NPP) has filed at the Supreme Court.

He also added that it is a betrayal of the titles of Minority members as ‘honourables’.

Speaking to TV3’s Hubert Osei Welbeck immediately after President Mahama delivered his address in Parliament on Thursday, Odike, who came last in the 2012 Presidential Elections after polling 0.08 per cent of the total valid votes cast, said the Minority’s action does not augur well for nation-building.

“It doesn’t augur well for nation building,” he said.

“It is not NPP that is in court. It is Nana Akufo-Addo, Jake Obetsebi-Lamptey and [Dr Mahamudu] Bawumia,” he stressed.

“It betrays their titles as honourables because they represent people at the constituency level and so [it is] not good for them to boycott this national event.”

According to the private businessman, the party’s stance on decisions taken by President Mahama is an indictment on the petition its leading members have filed at the Court.

“For the party to take such a stance betrays even their case before the court.”


Source: 3news.com|Ghana