Explainer: Four key things that occurred during day 3 of election petition hearing

Explainer: Four key things that occurred during day 3 of election petition hearing

John Mahama on Wednesday, December 30, 2020, filed a petition before the Supreme Court to challenge the outcome of the 2020 presidential race.

According to the former president, the election was rigged in favour of President Nana Akufo-Addo.

Akufo-Addo defeated Mahama in the election to secure another four-year term; collecting 51.302% of the votes cast against the latter’s 47.359%.

Election petition: Five key things that occurred during day 3 of hearing
Image credit: John Dramani Mahama|Parliament of Ghana|Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo
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The votes difference between the two candidates stood at 517, 231, representing a four percentage point, one of the highest since 1996.

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Mahama wants a rerun of the election between him and Akufo-Addo, stating that there was no winner contrary to the outcome declared by the Electoral Commission.

In this article, YEN.com.gh looks at four key things that happened at the hearing on Wednesday, January 20, 2021.

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Election petition: Justice cannot be sacrificed for expedition - Tsatsu to Supreme Court

Roadmap for the trial

The court established the issues for determination in the ongoing trial. In outlining the roadmap for the trial, the seven-member bench presided by Chief Justice, Justice Anin Yeboah ordered the parties to provide their list of witnesses as well as witness statements.

The trial is set to begin on January 26, 2021.

Dismissing petition

The Court ordered the respondents in the trial (President Nana Akufo-Addo and EC) to file their arguments in support of their request for the petition to be thrown out “in limine” (without a trial) and the petitioner to respond to the arguments.

The ruling on this motion will be in the final judgment, paving the way for a trial.

Review of dismissed 12 questions

The lawyer for John Mahama, Tsatsu Tsikata, informed the court today that his clients sought to challenge the dismissal of his application to ask the Electoral Commission 12 questions.

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Election petition: Mahama files for review of ruling on application for interrogatories

The Supreme Court on Tuesday, January 19, 2021, dismissed Mahama’s request to ask the commission 12 questions.

In its ruling, the court unanimously held that the petition hearing is time-bound and that it cannot grant the application for interrogatories.

To review its earlier ruling, the court would have to empanel two additional Supreme Court Justices.

The ALMIGHTY caution

Tsatsu Tsikata has cautioned the seven-member bench hearing the on-going 2020 election petition trial against sacrificing justice for “expedition.”

“Justice cannot be sacrificed for expedition,” the veteran legal luminary told the bench presided by Ghana’s Chief Justice, Justice Anim Yeboah, on Wednesday, 20 January 2021.

Tsikata’s admonition was in reaction to the order for the parties in the case to file their witness statements by noon on Thursday, January 21, 2021.

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