Ghana Supreme Court affirms President Akufo-Addo election
Ghana Supreme Court on Thursday dismissed the petition filed against the election of President Nana Akufo-Addo by his main rival of the National Democratic Congress (NDC), Dramani Mahama in the 2020 presidential election.
“The petitioner did not demonstrate in any way how the errors [committed by the EC] affected the declaration of the election…We have therefore no reason to order a re-run [of the polls]. We accordingly dismiss the petition,” Chief Justice, Kwasi Anin-Yeboah said while reading the ruling of the court on Thursday.
Mahama had challenged the results of the polls insisting that none of the nine presidential candidates obtained the mandatory 50 percent+1 vote constitutional threshold to be declared the winner of the polls.
In his petition filed on December 30, 2020, Mahama sought five reliefs from the apex court. He among other things asked the Supreme Court to declare the EC’s declaration of President Nana Akufo-Addo as the winner of the polls as unconstitutional, null and void.
He also asked the apex court to order the Electoral Commission (EC) to conduct a re-run of the election between himself and President Akufo-Addo.
But the Respondents, the Electoral Commission and President Akufo-Addo– urged the apex court to dismiss the petition.
They argued that the petition was incompetent, lacked merit, and raised no reasonable cause of action.
In its ruling, the Supreme Court said the petitioner failed to prove his case via his petition or through his witnesses.
Chief Justice Anin-Yeboah who read the ruling said the accounts of Rojo Mettle-Nunoo and Michael Kpessa-Whyte were immaterial to the case since the issue in contention had nothing to do with how the results were collated at the Electoral Commission’s national collation centre popularly known as the Strongroom.
“Their testimonies were unworthy in the settlement of the issues,” Justice Anin-Yeboah said.
He said Mettle-Nunoo and Kpessa-Whyte should instead have themselves to blame for abandoning their post while the collation of the results was ongoing.
Reasonable cause of action – Anin-Yeboah said the court after critically examining the case so far was satisfied that the case discloses a cause of action and properly invoked the jurisdiction of the court.
He explained that the court need not focus on the strength of the case to determine whether or not the court has jurisdiction in the matter. The fact that a party’s case may be weak is no grounds for striking it out.
Crossing 50 percent+1 votes threshold ruling: There is no doubt that the EC chairperson announced 13,434,74 instead of 13,121,111 to be total valid votes cast.
Calculations of the individual votes contained in the December 9 declaration of the petition to be 13,121,111. (This figure was admitted during the cross-examination of PW1, Johnson Asiedu Nketiah).
There is no doubt that the petitioner accepts that the total valid votes cast was 13,121,111. No legal basis for anyone to contend that the 13,434,574 should be used as total valid votes.
The Supreme Court also stated that it was absolutely wrong to hold on to the error made by the EC against the commission as the error was subsequently corrected. Anin-Yeboah said Mahama’s legal team could not also provide any statute to the effect that the EC needed to consult stakeholders before effecting corrections.
“We conclude this judgment by emphasizing that the petitioner did not demonstrate in any way how the alleged errors and the unilateral corrections by the 1st respondent affected the validity of the declaration made by the Chairperson of the 1st respondent made on the 9th December 2020 as already stated in this judgment.
“The petitioner has not produced any evidence to rebut the presumption created by the publication of CI 135 for which his actions. We, therefore, have no reason to order a re-run as sort by the petitioner. So we accordingly dismiss the petition,” Anin-Yeboah concluded.