Live Updates: Ghana at the crossroads

BY: Arku Jasmine

Justice William Atuguba

After eight months of sitting, the Supreme Court of Ghana will today, rule on the landmark case challenging the legitimacy of President John Dramani Mahama as winner of the 2012 Presidential Elections.

The petition was filed by the 2012 flagbearer of the New Patriotic Party (NPP), Nana Akufo-Addo; his running mate, Dr Mahamadu Bawumia and the Chairman of the party, Jake Obetsebi Lamptey alleging gross and widespread irregularities at 4,709 polling stations.

Follow Graphiconline's live text updates from the courtroom as the nine justices, led by Justice William Atuguba deliver the historic verdict.

Many stay at home

The streets in Accra are not exactly deserted, but one is easily struck by the ease with which traffic is flowing on this historic day. Many are staying away from the centre of the city for the fear of the unknown, even as security officials have urged all to go about their businesses without any fear of harm. On the major roads feeding Accra with regular traffic - Mallam to Kaneshie; Tema beach road through Teshie and La to Accra; Legon through 37 and Ofankor -Achimota - are all less busy from their usual choking routines.

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Similar situations have been reported from major towns across the country.

Police men dressed in riot gear are patrolling neighbourhoods in small convoys while back in the newsroom, colleagues are chatting about how easy their drives to the office have been, especially for those who spend close to hours traversing routes outlying Accra to the centre. Today those long journeys last only 20 miuntes or less.

The international media have also trained their lenses on the Supreme Court case, with the CNN writing on "Ghana awaits election challenge ruling". Accompanying the story is a picture of some women adorned in NDC regalia obviously at a forum, while the South African Broadcasting Corporation (SABC) features Ghana court to rule on presidential vote, accompanied with the Ghana National Flag. The BBC also caps the case as Ghana court to rule on poll dispute, with a photo of President Mahama on the occasion of his swearing-in in January, bearing the sword of office.

The Bloomberg also captions the verdict as Ghana Court Seen Upholding Mahama Win After Vote Trial while the Xinhua News Agency headlines the case as Ghana's Supreme Court to deliver final judgment over election petition on Thursday. The Mail & Guardian Online under the headline Ghana court to rule on President Mahama's fate in office introduces the story as saying "The long-awaited ruling will be made on Thursday and stands as a test for one of Africa's most stable democracies."

Atmosphere in the Flagstaff House

President John Dramani Mahama and Vice-President Kwesi Amissah Arthur are glued to a television set in the Flagstaff House following proceedings.

With them are P.V. Obeng, the Chief of Staff, Prosper Banni, Totobi Kwakye and other presidential staffers.

Video feeds from the national broadcaster, GTV show the president and his vice dressed in white.

Live Updates:

The nine justices, led by Justice William Atuguba, have taken their seats.

Lawyer for the petitioners, Mr Philip Addison, is on his feet introducing his colleague lawyers.

Lawyer for President Mahama, first respondent in the petition, has just introduced himself.

Mr Quarshie Idun, lawyer for the second respondents is on his feet.

Mr Tsatsu Tsikata just introduced himself as lawyer for the third respondents.

Justice William Atuguba is giving the verdict.

we unanimously dismiss the claims relating to duplicate serial numbers, duplicate serial numbers, voting without biometric verification.

Atuguba, Adinyera, Gbedegbe dismiss the claims relating to over voting

Re-run of areas affected

First respondent was validly elected and therefore petition is dismissed