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Mahama files for review of Supreme Court ruling on interrogatories

BY: Enoch Darfah Frimpong

Lawyers for former President John Dramani Mahama have filed an application asking the Supreme Court to review its decision on Tuesday that disallowed them from asking the Electoral Commission (EC) 12 questions in the 2020 presidential election petition.

Graphic Online’s Justice Agbenorsi who was in court reported that when the Supreme Court reconvened Wednesday morning at 9:30am, Lead counsel for Mr Mahama, Mr Tsatsu Tsikata informed the court about the application which had been filed at the registry.

Mr Mahama is asking the court to review the ruling on the application for interrogatories which was dismissed on Tuesday [Jan 19].

The court has accordingly set January 28, 2020 as the return date for the review. 

The implication is that two additional Justices of the Supreme Court would have to be empaneled to do the review.

Wednesday's sitting

When the Justices of the Supreme Court sat Wednesday morning, lead counsel for the petitioner, Mr Tsikata informed the court about the application for review.

The court had set Wednesday morning for case management and so after a short recess to read the memorandum of issues, the Supreme Court set out five issues for determination.

A determination of the five issues by the court will enable the court come to a conclusion as to whether or not the petition has any merit.

Read also: Supreme Court sets out 5 issues for determination in 2020 presidential election petition

Background

Mr Mahama had filed two legal processes at the Supreme Court on Monday but at the court's sitting Tuesday, the application for 12 interrogatories was dismissed.

He was seeking to ask the court to grant leave for the Electoral Commission (1st respondent) to answer 12 questions regarding the declaration of the presidential election results.

However, a seven-member panel of the court, presided over by the Chief Justice, Justice Kwasi Anin Yeboah dismissed the application with the view that the crucial issues of relevance had not been established by the petitioner.

The court explained that "reference was made to the 2013 [presidential election] petition in which an application for interrogatories was granted by the Supreme Court.

"However, subsequent to 2013, several statutory amendments have been made by C.I. 99 of 2016 which has restricted the practice and procedure of this court as regards Election Petition," the court said.

"Indeed, Rule 69 of the Supreme Court amendment in C.I. 99 directs the expeditious disposal of petitions and sets timeliness for this court to dispose off the petition."

"It implies that even amendments brought here and granted as well as..., subsequent statutory amendments pointed out after the 2013 [presidential election petition], has provided us [court] with new procedural regime and strict timelines."

"We are strictly bound to comply with C.I. 90 and therefore we will not apply Order 22 of C.I. 45 of 2004 in this circumstances."

"We accordingly refuse to grant the application and same is accordingly dismissed," the court ruled.

Watch a LIVE video of Wednesday's proceedings

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