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Politics

I will accept verdict of Supreme Court, Akufo-Addo tells Otumfour

The 2012 Presidential Candidate of the New Patriotic Party (NPP), Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, has reiterated his commitment to maintain and support the peace prevailing in the country and also accept the outcome of the election petition before the Supreme Court

According to Nana Akufo-Addo, NPP members and supporters will not indulge in any action that will destabilise the country.

Speaking during a courtesy call on him by the Asantehene, Otumfuo Osei Tutu II, at his residence, Nana Akufo-Addo said, the good record of the NPP is there to show that they are a peace-loving party, and has always accepted the outcome of elections organized by the Electoral Commission.

He however pointed out that, the party decided to go to court this time round because of the widespread irregularities that characterized the 2012 December general elections.

Flanked by his wife, Mrs. Rebecca Akufo-Addo, Dr. Bawumia, Party Chairman Jake Obetsebi Lamptey and a host of other party officials, Nana Akufo-Addo said, the irregularities that characterized the 2012 December general elections could not make the results a true reflection of the will of Ghanaians.

“We respect and believe in the Supreme Court, that is why we have petitioned them and we will accept any decision or verdict they make,” he said.

Nana Addo also called on other parties involved in the case to also abide by the decision of the court.

Before Nana Akufo-Addo’s remarks, Asantehene Otumfuo Osei Tutu II had urged him to accept whatever the outcome of the election petition before the Supreme Court would be.

Otumfuo also asked him to prevail on his supporters and followers to accept the result – whether in his favour or not – in the interest of the nation.

The Asantehene indicated that he will support any decision made by the Justices at the Supreme Court.

According to him, should there be any change of government as a result of the court ruling, the triumphant party will receive his full backing.

Otumfuo is in the capital with a delegation of chiefs for a democracy lecture organized by the National Commission on Civic Education. He was accompanied by more than sixty of his sub- and paramount Chiefs in the Ashanti and Brong Ahafo Regions.

Source: NPP Communications Directorate

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Politics

NDC ask supporters to refrain from lawlessness at Supreme Court

The National Democratic Congress (NDC) has asked supporters of the party to view the election petition pending before the Supreme Court as legal process and not a political rally.

A statement signed by Mr Johnson Aseidu Nketia, General Secretary said, party faithful should therefore desist from any act that would negatively influence the legal process.

It said information reaching the NDC secretariat indicate that an indentified group of people are planning to storm the premises of the Supreme Court in Accra on Tuesday to demonstrate their solidarity for the ruling Government.

It said the NDC intelligence indicates that members of the group clad in party colours intend to create confusion to tarnish the judicial process.

The statement urged the security to deal ruthlessly with members of the group who act lawlessly.

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

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.


Source: 3news.com|Ghana

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Politics

NPP disadvantaged by Supreme Court’s Jan 22 ruling – Deputy Minority Leader

Deputy Minority Leader of Parliament Dominic Nitiwul, who is also the New Patriotic Party (NPP) Member of Parliament (MP) for the Bimbilla Constituency, says the 6-3 majority decision taken by the Supreme Court last Tuesday to allow the National Democratic Congress (NDC) to be third respondents in the petition filed by “Ghanaian citizens” Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, Dr Mahamudu Bawumia and Jake Obetsebi-Lamptey “clearly” disadvantages the NPP.

He said since a body or an institution cannot petition the Supreme Court regarding the election results, as stipulated in Article 64 of the 1992 Constitution, the NPP is handicapped since it cannot also file to be joined as respondents to a petition that is consistent with its stance on the results of the 2012 polls.

Speaking on TV3’s weekend news analysis programme Headlines on Saturday, January 26, 2013, Mr Nitiwul, however, intimated that the party respected the decision taken by the Court.

“Though we do not agree with the decision, we respect it,” he told host of the programme Henry Herbert Malm.

He explained that though John Dramani Mahama was cited in the petition as an individual, his defense will not be any different from what the NDC will also put up when hearing begins on January 29, 2013. Therefore, NDC’s joinder will be dilatory to the petition.

“What different thing will NDC say from John Mahama?” he quizzed.

“That is why one of the judges said ‘it is discriminatory’,” Mr Nitwul added, stating that Justice Baffoe-Bonnie was clear in his submission that the ruling did not make it possible for the NPP as a body to join.

According to the Bimbilla MP, since his party has no plans of filing a joinder, the only means it can throw support for the petitioners, who are members of his party, is to take decisions consistent with NPP’s stance on the case.

“As a party we must show that we in are full support of the case,” he indicated.

“Therefore, the party’s members in Parliament decided not to participate in any Act that has to do with the formation of President Mahama’s government,” he added.

Quoting Article 53 of the Constitution, Mr Nitiwul explained that the ministers-designate will be delegated to by the president, whose election they are challenging, and, what is more, they will form an integral part of his government. Hence, the decision by the Minority caucus not to take part in the vetting of the nominees.

He concluded that even some members of the NDC like Samson Arhin support NPP’s decision to boycott the vetting of the ministerial nominees.

Source: 3news.com|Ghana

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Politics

All justices of Supreme Court should hear NPP Election Petition, FGJ proposes

The Forum for Governance and Justice (FGJ) wishes to commend the Supreme Court of Ghana for dealing swiftly with the application by the National Democratic Congress (NDC) to join the petition brought forward by Nana Akufo-Addo and co.

Indeed, the people, from whom justice emanates and is administered in the name of the Republic by the Judiciary, now anxiously expect hearing on the substantive petition to start on January 29, 2013.

As we commend the highest court of the land, we wish to humbly suggest to the Chief Justice, to consider empanelling all the Justices of the Supreme Court to sit on substantive case.

Clearly, if the Chief Justice saw the need to empanel a nine-member bench to hear and decide NDC’s application to be joined in the petition by the New Patriotic Party (NPP), then it is not unreasonable to make this request, given the nature of the case at hand and its likely implications for our nation.

Our suggestion is also informed by the fact since 1992, two main political parties have ruled Ghana, the NDC and the NPP. Equally, it is true that all the Justices of the Supreme Court appointed since the coming into effect of the 1992 constitution were appointed by a leader elected on the ticket of one of the two parties now in court over the 2012 presidential poll.

We sincerely believe that the nature of this case requires a concerted effort to avoid needless and baseless speculations about loyalties and/or lack thereof, the reasons why the FGJ believes that all the Justices of the Court should be empanelled. If nine sat on an application for a joinder, then asking the full house to sit on the substantive case that has consequences for our democracy is not out of place in the national interest.


From: Dr Clement Apaak, Convener (FJG)

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Politics

Supreme Court sets Jan 22 to rule on NDC’s joinder application

The Supreme Court has set Tuesday, January 22, 2013 as date to rule on the application brought before it by the National Democratic Congress (NDC) to be joined in the petition filed on December 28, 2012 by Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, Dr Mahamudu Bawumia and Jake Obetsebi-Lamptey challenging the Electoral Commissioner’s declaration of John Dramani Mahama as winner of the 2012 Presidential Elections.

During hearing at the Supreme Court on Wednesday, lead counsel for the NDC Tsatsu Tsikata told the packed courtroom, the definition of a political party is relevant to the consideration stating that the NDC having established itself as one is a necessary party to the process.

He said their petition does not mention John Dramani Mahama as President of the Republic.

Mr Tsikata argued the NDC is seeking to join the petition in the interest of justice because Mr Mahama was nominated, selected and agreed to stand on the ticket of the party.

He said President John Dramani Mahama is in the process of forming his government and, thus, joining the petition will advance the interest of justice.

Counsel for the NDC referred the Court to instances when it allowed the NPP to be joinders in a suit between government and the Attorney General.

Lead counsel for petitioners Phillip Addison said the action by the NDC is completely unmeritorious.

He said the joinder, if granted, will defeat the expressed purpose of the election petition – the expeditious determination of the petition.

Mr Addison told the court the joinder will open the flood gates for many witnesses and asked that the application be thrown out on this ground.

He said CI 74 defines who the necessary parties are in a petition and a political party like the NDC is not mentioned here.

Mr Addison said nowhere in the petition is it stated that the presence of the NDC will be needed.

He said the rules of joinder are necessary to avoid a multiplicity of suits, adding that fear cannot arise in this petition because it is time-bound.

Attempt by counsel for the president Tony Lithur to respond to the argument was initially met with sharp objection from lawyers for the petitioners.

A 6/3 majority ruling, however, gave him the opportunity to make his point arguing that the NDC need to be joined to the case.

Earlier, there was disagreement regarding the withdrawal of the petitioners’ motion asking a member on the panel to recuse himself because of the alleged possibility of bias.

Tsatsu Tsikata wanted Nana Akufo-Addo’s side to withdraw openly despite a written letter indicating their decision.

Philip Addison, however, said his side did not make any demand in open court but he was compelled to withdraw for the avoidance of doubt.

Presiding judge William Atuguba adjourned proceedings to January 22, 2013 for ruling on whether or not the NDC will be allowed in the case.

Source: 3news.com|Ghana

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Politics

Supreme Court to hear NDC’s joinder application on Wednesday

The Supreme Court has scheduled Wednesday, January 16, 2013 as date to hear the National Democratic Congress’ application to be joined in the petition brought before it by Messrs Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, Mahamadu Bawumia and Jake Obetsebi-Lamptey.

The Court adjourned the case sine die on Thursday, January 10, 2013 after counsel for the petitioners challenged the composition of the panel presided over by Justice William Anaam Atuguba. They have since rescinded that decision.

Other panel members were Justice Julius Ansah, Justice Sophia Adinyira, Justice Rose Owusu, Justice Jones Dotse, Justice Annin Yeboah, Justice Baffoe-Bonnie, Justice N. S. Gbadegbe and Justice Vida Akoto-Bamfo.

The registrar of the Court on Monday, January 14, 2013 served lawyers of parties notices of hearing.

The petitioners are rejecting NDC’s application because they claim it is a ploy to delay the trial.

Others supporting the petitioners claim NDC as a political party cannot be party to the petition.

This was, however, refuted by Victor Adawudu, member of NDC’s legal team.

Speaking on TV3 on Tuesday, Mr Adawudu said Article 64 of the Constitution says the respondents to electoral challenges can be a group.

He said he is sure NDC will made party to the petition.

The petition is challenging the declaration of President John Dramani Mahama as winner of the 2012 presidential polls by the Electoral Commission.

Source: 3news.com|Ghana

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Politics

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.

Source: 3news.com|Ghana

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Politics

Supreme Court sets date for NDC application

The Supreme Court will, on Thursday, January 10, 2013, hear an application by the National Democratic Congress (NDC) to join a petition challenging the declaration of President John Dramani Mahama as winner of the December 7, 2012 presidential election.

A member of the NDC’s legal and communications team, Victor K. Adawudu, told Daily Graphic in Accra Thursday that the Registry of the Supreme Court had communicated the date to the party.

He indicated the party’s readiness to fully justify why it had to be joined to the suit.

The New Patriotic Party (NPP) is at the Supreme Court challenging the Electoral Commission’s (EC’s) declaration of President Mahama as winner of the presidential election.

The President-elect has been joined to the petition, which has the presidential candidate of the NPP in the 2012 elections, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo; his running mate, Dr Mahamudu Bawumia, and the Chairman of the NPP, Jake Obetsebi-Lamptey, as plaintiffs.

According to the plaintiffs, irregularities recorded during the elections favoured the NDC, noting that 24,000 of the pink results sheets from some polling stations indicated that those irregularities were enough to affect the results.

An affidavit in support of the motion for joinder deposed on behalf of the NDC by its General Secretary, Mr Johnson Asiedu Nketia, said the NDC, as the party on whose ticket the President contested the elections, “has a direct interest and a stake in the matter and will be affected by any decision of this honourable court”.

“As a party which will be directly affected by the decision, the NDC is entitled to be joined as a party and be heard in respect of the petition and seek to be joined by the motion herein,” it pointed out.

It said the NDC was a political party registered under the laws of Ghana and had, since the inception of the Fourth Republic, nominated and sponsored candidates for both parliamentary and presidential elections.

On December 9, 2012, the EC declared the NDC’s candidate, Mr Mahama, winner of the elections and, therefore, President-elect of Ghana.

The declaration was gazetted by the Declaration of President-elect Instrument 2012 (CI 80) on December 11, 2012.

Source: Daily Graphic