The Supreme Court has for the second time dismissed a review application by Former President John Mahama which was seeking to have the Chairperson of the Electoral Commission (EC), Mrs Jean Adukwei Mensa, testify in the 2020 presidential election petition.
The review application filed by Mr Mahama (petitioner) was urging the court to change its earlier ruling on February 16, this year, not to allow him to reopen his case to enable his lawyers subpoena the Chairperson of the EC , to testify in court.
In a unanimous ruling Monday, a nine-member review panel of the apex court, held that the application for review failed to meet the criteria for review as set out in Rule 54 of the Supreme Court rules, 1996 (C.I 16):
It ruled that Mr Mahama, in the review, failed to demonstrate any exceptional circumstances that had occasioned a miscarriage of justice to him (Mahama), neither did he introduce any new matter that could convince the court to change its ruling.
Lead counsel for the petitioner, Mr Tsatsu Tsikata, had argued before the court that the ruling not to allow his client to reopen his case was fraught with fundamental errors of law and therefor had occasioned a miscarriage of justice.
He said the court in its ruling did not consider Section 72 of the Evidence Act, which, he said, would have allowed his client to subpoena the Chairperson of the EC, and and rather relied on the Black Law Dictionary.
Counsel said the court should had relied on the Evidence Act which was a statute of Ghana , and not the Black Law Dictionary.
He also said the court should allow his client to reopen his case so that the Chairperson of the EC will testify and be accountable to Ghanaians.
He, therefore, urged the justices to use their conscience and reopen the case so that the EC Chairperson will testify.
Lawyers for the respondents- EC and President Akufo -Addo, urged the court to dismissed the review application, describing it as abuse of the court process .
They argued that the review application does not meet the criteria for review, but was rather an attempt by the petitioner to use the back door to get the EC Chairperson to testify.
In his petition, former President Mahama contended that no candidate won the 2020 presidential election and, therefore, the declaration of President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo as the winner of the election by Mrs Mensa was “null, void, unconstitutional and of no legal effect”.
He argued that as per the results announced by Mrs Mensa on December 9, 2020, no candidate garnered more than 50 per cent of the total valid votes cast, as required by Article 63(3) of the 1992 Constitution.
Former President Mahama, therefore, wants the Supreme Court to declare the declaration on December 9, 2020 as null and void and also order the EC to conduct a run-off between him and President Akufo-Addo.
He has also accused the EC of engaging in vote padding by deducting some of his votes and adding them to President Akufo-Addo’s.
In their answers, President Nana Akufo-Addo and the EC argued that the petition was incompetent, lacked merit and raised no reasonable cause of action.
It is their contention that the petition did not even meet the requirement of a presidential election petition, as stipulated in Article 64 (1) of the 1992 Constitution, and was, therefore, incompetent.
That, they argued, was because the petition made no allegation of infractions in the election at any of the 38,622 polling stations and 311 special voting centres.