The counsel for President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo has urged the Supreme Court to dismiss the election petition filed by the 2020 presidential candidate of the NDC, John Dramani Mahama, arguing that the petition is “frivolous”, and only confirms the declaration made by the Electoral Commission on December 9, 2020.
In a closing address filed at the Supreme Court, President Akufo-Addo’s legal team argued that the testimonies by Mr Mahama’s witnesses demonstrate clearly that the President won the polls.
The team further argued that the admissions made by Mr Asiedu Nketiah during cross examination shows the petitioner “has made much ado about nothing of the fact that in announcing the total valid votes cast, the Chairperson of the EC stated a wrong figure of 13.4 million.”
“This petition is an industry in futility. It has been designed, built, and furnished with lazy labour of facts and evidence that seek to attack the electoral choices of the people of Ghana,” the President’s legal team said.
President Akufo-Addo’s lawyers further argued that the petition discloses no cause of action because it does not meet the criteria for a presidential election petition, as stipulated in Article 64(1) of the 1992 Constitution.
The lawyers maintain that former President Mahama was not contesting the validity or the propriety of the conduct of the election, but rather the declaration by Chairperson of the EC, Mrs Jean Adukwei Mensa. They add that even if the declaration by the Chairperson of the EC was wrong, as the petitioner alleges, it did not mean that President Akufo-Addo was not validly elected.
President Akufo-Addo’s legal team further urged the court to dismiss the petitioner’s claim that no candidate obtained more than 50 per cent of the total valid votes cast as stipulated by the constitution.
“Strangely, petitioner has refused to produce any contrary data but has rather sought to rely on those of 1st respondent (EC),” the team said.
Meanwhile, President Mahama’s legal team insist that they have proven their case and should therefore be declared victor in the petition and their reliefs sought should be upheld.
In their written address, lawyers for Mr Mahama argue that the evidence on record, including the EC’s own declaration on December 9, clearly show that no candidate obtained more than 50 per cent of the valid votes cast to be declared President-elect, as prescribed by Article 63 (3) of the 1992 Constitution.
The address, signed by Mr Tony Lithur, one of the lawyers of the petitioner, invited the court to take notice of the refusal of the EC to put forward its Chairperson to testify.
According to the petitioner, after presenting his case, the burden was now on the EC to show that Mrs Mensa indeed “inadvertently” made errors in her declaration, and whether the subsequent corrections were based on correct figures as required by law.
“1st respondent (EC), by not calling evidence, did not even begin to discharge that burden,” the written submission said.
Mr Mahama’s team argued that the failure of the EC to admit or rebut the facts within 14 days as required by law means the facts had been admitted.
An admission of these facts, they argue, means President Akufo-Addo did not obtain more than 50 per cent of the votes cast.
They added that the EC’s lawyers failed to provide evidence to contradict the testimony by the NDC General Secretary, Johnson Asiedu Nketia, that an addition of the percentage of votes the EC Chairperson announced as obtained by each candidate comes to 100.3 per cent, which is a “mathematical and statistical impossibility”.
They therefore insist that no candidate had more than 50 per cent, and the court must therefore call for re-run of the election.