Election petition: Seven times Mahama’s lawyers lost


John Mahama

The seven justices (and sometimes nine judges) hearing the 2020 Election Petition have been called upon on 10 occasions to rule on various issues.

These are matters that have seen lawyers representing the respondents (EC and President Akufo-Addo) take positions contrary to that of the petitioner, John Mahama.

The seven judges hearing the case are Chief Justice Kwasi Anin Yeboah, Justices Yaw Appau, Marful Sau, Nene Amegatcher, Prof. Kotey, Mariama Owusu, and Gertrude Torkonoo .

They have on two occasions been joined by Justices Amadu Tanko (both occasions) and Prof Henrietta Mensa Bonsu (once) and Lovelace Johnson (once).

Tsatsu Tsikata
Tsatsu Tsikata

The rulings so far;

All the court’s decisions in the last few weeks have been unanimous 7-0 and 9-0 on three occasions.

  1. First it unanimously granted the petitioner’s request to amend the initial petition i.e correct minor mistakes that did not affect the substance of the petition.

Mahama’s lawyers move to correct errors in 2020 election petition

2. It unanimously dismissed a request for interrogatories to be served. These were 12 questions they wanted the EC Chairperson to answer

Supreme Court dismisses Mahama’s 12 interrogatories for the EC

3. Constituted as a nine-member panel, it unanimously dismissed a request to substitute a paragraph and add additional ground in a push by the petitioner to have the interrogatories ruling reviewed.

Allow me to demonstrate further that your ruling was contrary to law – Mahama to Supreme Court

4. This nine-member panel also unanimously dismissed the review of interrogatories ruling itself.

Supreme Court dismisses Mahama’s application to review ruling on interrogatories

5. The original seven-member panel by a unanimous decision struck out portions of the petitioner’s witness (Asiedu Nketia) statement (seven paragraphs) while maintaining three parts following a request by the Respondents.

Election petition: Supreme Court strikes out 7 portions of Asiedu Nketia’s statement

6. This panel also unanimously dismissed a request by the petitioner for documents to be inspected.

Supreme Court dismisses Mahama’s application to inspect 6 EC documents

7. The panel unanimously struck out five parts of 32 paragraphs of the petitioner’s witness statement (Mettle-Nunoo)

Supreme Court strikes out 5 paragraphs from Mettle-Nunoo’s witness statement; 27 maintained

8. The panel unanimously rejected the petitioner’s request to compel the EC to call Jean Mensa to testify.

We cannot compel Jean Mensa to give evidence – Supreme Court judges 

9. The panel unanimously dismissed the petitioners request to reopen his case.

You cannot reopen your case – Supreme Court dismisses Mahama’s application

10. The enhanced nine-member panel dismissed the petitioner’s request that it reviews its decision not to compel Jean Mensa to testify.

Jean Mensa cannot be compelled to testify – Supreme Court affirms earlier ruling

From the above, it is only on one occasion that a request by the petitioner has been wholly granted.

This was the request to correct mistakes.

The petitioner’s viewpoint has been partly upheld on two occasions when it came to striking out portions of witness statements.

The legal arguments of the respondents have however swayed the judges seven times.

Two judges are expected to join the seven to hear another review motion seeking to set aside the court’s unanimous decision that did not allow the petitioner to reopen his case.

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