General News of Monday, 14 January 2013
Source: The Informer
Keeping The False Hope Alive
NPP Lawyers Wobbling
…As They Eat Humble Pie
The centre for lawyers of the petitioners against the results of the December 2012 Presidential election is disintegrating and things are hanging in the balance waiting to fall any time soon.
In just a matter of days when an aspect of the matter before the Supreme Court would be decided, the legal team is wobbling badly.
The very legal team of Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia and Jake Otanka Obetsebi Lamptey that gave a firm promise of filing a motion at the Supreme Court against the composition of the panel is now saying that they are no longer interested in pursuing that request further. After fumbling badly last week Thursday when the National Democratic Congress (NDC) decision to join in the matter was to be decided, the NPP team gave the strongest indication of filing a motion against the composition of the panel. But that was not to be as the team has made a quick and a surprise u-turn to the amazement of Ghanaians who are observing events from afar and near. The legal team in a letter to the Supreme Court has decided against filing the motion against the composition of the panel.
According to the team, the decision was arrived at because it wanted the matter to be dealt with expeditiously.
The alacrity with which the NPP lawyers stormed out of the Supreme Court last week Thursday and what they told Ghanaians and their current position is amazing and disingenuous.
The same NPP lawyers astounded Ghanaians last Thursday when they decided that the objection to the composition of the panel should be held in camera. This was in sharp contrast to the position of the party that all issues relating to the petition before the Supreme Court should be held in open court. In fact, Gabby Otchere Darko, cousin of Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, one of the petitioners waged a crusade that the whole hearing should be telecast live on various television stations. Indeed, he had the support of some big wigs within the NPP while the lawyers within the party were silent, although, they were fully aware that Gabby’s position is not the standard practice in the country’s judicial practice. The matter which was to be heard last Thursday was an application for joinder filed by the NDC.
The party was of the view that it was an interested party in the matter because President Mahama contested the election on its ticket.
It was Mr. Tsatsu Tsikata, the Lead Counsel for the NDC, who objected to the game plan of the NPP lawyers when he made it clear that the rules of the Supreme Court states that all hearings of electoral petitions are heard in open court. The NPP is contesting the results of Presidential elections held on December 7/8, 2012, alleging it was rigged in favor of President John Dramani Mahama. The Petitioners are Nana Akufo-Addo, Dr. Bawumia and Obestebi-Lamptey. The respondents are President Mahama, the Electoral Commission and Dr. Kwadwo Afari Gyan, Chairman of the Electoral Commission.