Gabby Asare Otchere-Darko, a lawyer and leading member of the New Patriotic Party has given an interpretation of the proceedings in the first hearing of the 2020 election petition.
Per Gabby’s understanding of issues, John Dramani Mahama, petitioner in the case got one over his rivals, the Electoral Commission which is the first respondent and Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo who is the second respondent.
Mahama’s request for a rectification of the errors made in the petition was granted by the Supreme Court.
Gabby in a post on social media explained that the two respondents were against the request by Mahama but the court thought he had grounds for his requests.
“Petitioner, got the 1st victory this morning when court granted his application to correct errors, which was opposed by the respondents. The petitioner is asking the court for a rerun because of errors in declaring results. Respondents say those errors were corrected!”, he posted on social media.
What happened at the Supreme Court on the first day of hearing
The Supreme Court sat today, January 14, 2021, for the first time, on the election petition as filed by National Democratic Congress (NDC) Flagbearer, John Dramani Mahama.
The case was presided over by a seven-member panel of judges headed by the Chief Justice, Kwesi Aning Yeboah. The other members were Gertrude Torkornoo, Samuel Marful-Sau, Yaw Appau, Nii Ashie Kotey, Mariama Owusu, and Nene Abayateye Ofoe Amegatcher.
The first sitting was a short one, mainly with two issues to be looked at by the court.
The first was the application for live transmission of the court’s proceedings and the second, a motion filed by the petitioner, John Mahama, for an amendment of initial processes filed to the Supreme Court.
The application for a live telecast of proceedings was granted by the court. Prof. Nii Kotey noted that the court had already independently considered the motion and made arrangements for same. It, therefore, concluded that the Election Petition case will be broadcast, pending the court’s considerations and arrangements.
The second was a motion for the amendment of the petition filed by Mr. Mahama, which contained some errors which translated that the petition was for a rerun between the NDC candidate and the 1st Respondent; the Electoral Commission.
The motion for an amendment which was moved by Legal Representative for Mr. Mahama, Tsatsu Tsikata was opposed by Counsel for the Electoral Commission; Justin Amenuvor, and Lawyers for Akufo-Addo who argued that even the motion for the amendment was fraught with errors.
The reaction to this was a question from one of the sitting judges who asked if they had never made mistakes.
After this, the judges retired briefly to consider the motion for amendment after which they agreed and granted. This means lawyers now have the go-ahead to make amendments to the originating processes.
The court, from its decision at the first hearing on the election petition case, has given the petitioner, John Dramani Mahama and his counsels up till 4 pm today, Thursday, January 14, 2021, to file their amendments to the petition whereas the respondents; the Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo and the Electoral Commission, were given 4 pm tomorrow, to file their amendments.
The case has since been adjourned to Tuesday, January 19, 2021, for a pre-trial.
At the pre-trial hearing, the court will decide on how the trial should proceed.
Meanwhile, John Dramani Mahama was in court and escorted by General Secretary, Johnson Asiedu Nketia, National Chair of the Party, Samuel Ofosu-Ampofo and other party members.
President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo was however not in court.