Tsatsu Tsikata, lead lawyer for John Dramani Mahama, in the election petition before the Supreme Court on Tuesday said he was not ready to file his issues.
The filing of issues essentially serves as a guide to the court on what is up for adjudication in the case before the apex court.
Addressing the seven-member Supreme Court panel presided over by Chief Justice Anin Yeboah, Tsikata indicated that he will require a careful look at the ruling of the Supreme Court with regard to his earlier application seeking an order of the court to direct the Electoral Commission chairperson, Jean Mensa, to provide answers to some 10 questions they have identified, in order to advise himself appropriately.
Motion for Interlocutories
Former president Mahama’s lawyer, when proceedings started in court today, moved a motion praying the court for leave to serve certain questions on the Electoral Commission (Application for Interlocutories) which he claims if answered would narrow down the issues before the court.
Ex-president Mahama, who is challenging the results of the 2020 presidential election, wanted the EC to answer among others, questions relating to the processes involved in the transmission of results from the polling station level, to the constituency level, to the regional offices of the EC and subsequently to the Returning Officer of the presidential election, Jean Mensa.
He is also seeking to solicit responses on whether or not the National Communications Authority (NCA) in any way facilitated the transmission of results from the various centres to the national headquarters of the EC.
EC opposes application
The EC through its lawyer, Justin Amenuvor, opposed the application, urging the court not to grant the application as it does not raise any relevant issues that are in contention. It was the case of the EC that the answers being sought for are already contained in the petition and the responses of the respondents.
The court ruled that the application for interlocutories by the petitioner were not grounded in law and that same is in contravention of the rules that are governing the adjudication of the election petition which is the main issue before the court.
“The application is hereby dismissed,” the Chief Justice ruled.
Filing of issues
After the ruling of the court, it proceeded to ask the lawyers of all three parties on the approach they wanted to use in presenting the issues that are to be laid down for determination. Tsatsu on his part asked the court to permit his side to file their issues on Thursday 21 January 2021 instead of the suggested date and time (9am on Wednesday 20 January 2021). Lawyer for the EC (First Respondent), indicated that he was ready to go by the direction of the court.
Akoto Ampaw, lawyer for Akufo-Addo, expressed surprise at the petitioner’s lawyer’s request for more time to file his issues. He noted that during the 2012/2013 petition, the parties set down the issues for determination orally in court and that he is ready to do same in the instant case.
The court after hearing the lawyers ruled that they should file their issues at the Supreme Court Registry by 9am 20 January 2021. The court further ruled that it will subsequently reconstitute the same day for the case to take its natural course.
Source: Wilberforce Asare/asaaseradio
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