Institute commends Supreme Court for steady, measured and firm handling of election petition case

BY: Samuel K. Obour

Seven of the nine member panel of judges sitting on the election petition case - (From top left) - Annin Yeboah, Rose Owusu, Julius Ansah, (From down left) Sophia Adinyira, Vida Akoto-Bamfo, Jones Dotse  and on extreme Left is William AtugubaThe John Institute of African Politics and Society has lauded what it called “the steady, measured and yet firm manner” in which the nine Supreme Court judges are handling the election petition challenge before them.

In a statement, the institute said it had watched with admiration the consummate skill brought to the resolution of the different thorny issues which had arisen in the course of the election petition trial never experienced in the annals of Ghanaian jurisprudence. 

The statement signed by Mr Ekow Nkrumah, Executive Secretary of the Institute, however, noted that certain commentators had sought to discover new ways of sullying the high repute in which our courts were held on the African continent and beyond, by employing the use of demeaning language in the analyses of the rulings and judgments of our honourable judges. The nine Justices of the Supreme Court who are determining the landmark case are  Mr Justice William Atuguba (presiding), Mr Justice Julius Ansah, Mrs Justice Sophia Adinyira, Ms Justice Rose Owusu, and Mr Justice Jones Dotse. Others are Mr Justice Annin Yeboah, Mr Justice P. Baffoe-Bonnie, Mr Justice N.S. Gbadegbe and Mrs Justice Vida Akoto-Bamfo.

“The John Institute is aware that the recent election petition trial in Kenya was conducted by judges whose processes of appointment were greatly influenced by positive experiential input from our own Chief Justice, Her Ladyship Mrs Georgina Theodora Wood, thus further elevating the quality of our jurists on the African legal landscape,” the statement said.

According to the statement, the institute shares, like all patriotic Ghanaians, in the justifiable pride this important input from our own people must have been to the peaceful, violence-free resolution of the election dispute in far away Kenya. 

It is becoming increasingly clear to all and sundry across the world that our methodical and institution-building approach to resolving the disputes in our political system was becoming our benchmark in the comity of democracies on the globe, it stated.

The John Institute also noted with approval the latest and vital ruling of the Supreme Court for the thorough audit of the number of pink sheets filed by petitioners by an independent firm of international auditors and financial consultants. 

It said the ramification of this ruling in our respectful opinion, is the heart of the petition now before our law lords in the court. It is clear to all of us that the strength of the current case rests on the number and therefore the dispositive persuasiveness of the votes sought to be annulled, and any challenge as to the quantum requires resolution in the manner preferred and ordered by the court.

This decision, in the view of the institute, had shown to all observers of the process that the court was open and welcoming of superior argumentation, and this flexibility had enhanced the high regard in which it was held in the society. 

The John Institute takes this opportunity to pat our lordships on the back for their steelness of purpose and their determination to get to the bottom of this electoral quarrel which has found its way into their bosoms.

Finally, the John Institute prayed that the parties in the election petition would wholeheartedly accept the result of the audit, saying “We believe that in this way, the final resolution of the issues in the petition would also partake of the notions of popular participation which underlies our democracy.”