The Supreme Court has by a unanimous decision dismissed the
election petition filed by the 2020 presidential candidate of the NDC John
Mahama describing it as a case without merit. Mr Mahama challenged the
validity of the declaration made by the Chairperson of the Electoral
Commission on December 9 and wanted a rerun of the presidential election
between him and President Akufo Addo. By this judgement, the court has
affirmed President Akufo Addo as constitutionally elected.
Background and Review of the Election Petition
The more than eight weeks hearing of the petition began with lawyers of the Petitioner filing his case last December 30 to challenge the Presidential results of the 2020 elections.
There have been heated arguments between the Petitioner and the Respondents with each party trying to make a strong case before the bench. The Petitioner filed several applications most of which were quashed.
There was much public anxiety ahead of the delivery of judgment in the 2013 election petition. Fastfoward to 2021 the situation however seems different from what was previously experienced.
Perhaps it is because as a nation we have gone through it before. The 2020 flagbearer of the NDC John Mahama filed the petition urging the court to direct tthe EC to conduct a run off between him and President Akufo-Addo because he claimed none of the presidential candidates in the December 7 election met the threshold to be declared winner. He also alleges constitutional breaches on the part of the Chairperson of the EC which the court should address.
In his written closing address to the court, Mr Mahama said he has been able to prove his case. He said all three witnesses which he called led enough evidence to support his case and their credibility and truthfulness are beyond doubt.
The respondents, the Electoral Commission and President Akufo-Addo have countered the claims by the petitioner and urged the court to dismiss the petition because it lacks merit. The EC claims President Akufo-Addo obtained 51 percent of the valid votes cast to be declared winner and that the errors recorded in the declaration did not in any way affect the Constitutional threshold of the candidates.
It said it discharged its mandate in accordance with the law contrary to the claim by the petitioner. According to the EC, the 2020 general election has been touted as the most credible since Ghana’s Fourth Republic.
The Commission further submits that Mr Mahama led no evidence to challenge the election results. President Akufo-Addo is also urging the court to dismiss the petition on grounds that it discloses no reasonable cause of action. His lawyers have constantly argued that the Petitioner failed to prove his case before the court. The parties made their submissions but the decision rested in the bosom of the judges.
Meanwhile Secretary of the National Democratic Congress, NDC, Johnson Asiedu Nketia has in a statement called on the EC to refund some filling fees to their members. This comes at the back of the EC’s rules that stated that any candidates who gets 25% and above of the election results gets a refund..