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General News of Wednesday, 23 January 2013

Source: Daily Graphic

Akufo-Addo opposes EC's request for detailed info on "irregularities"

The presidential candidate of the New Patriotic Party (NPP) in the December 2012 general election, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, has opposed the request by the Electoral Commission (EC) for further documents in the petition contesting the results of the presidential polls.

He said the EC "ought not be permitted to employ an application for further and better particulars to compel the petitioners to disclose the nature of evidence petitioners intend to lead during the trial".

The EC filed a motion on January 15, 2013 praying the Supreme Court to direct the petitioners to furnish it with "further and better" particulars of polling stations the alleged irregularities took place.

But Nana Akufo-Addo, who is one of the petitioners challenging the declaration of President Mahama as the winner of the polls, in an affidavit in opposition dated January 21, 2013, prayed the court to dismiss the EC's request.

Hearing of the EC's motion for further particulars has been set for January 29, 2013.

The petition to the Supreme Court, dated December 28, 2012, filed by Nana Akufo- Addo; his running mate, Dr Mahamadu Bawumia, and the Chairman of the NPP, Mr Jake Otanka Obetsebi-Lamptey, stated, among other things, that irregularities recorded at 4,709 polling stations favoured President Mahama.

According to the affidavit in opposition, the EC already had in its possession originals of the declaration forms and for that reason it was needless for it to request for further particulars from the petitioners.

According to the petitioners, 24,000 of the pink results sheets from some polling stations indicated that those irregularities were enough to affect the outcome of the presidential election, but the EC has denied the claims, describing the election results as credible and accurate.

Joined to the petition is the winner of the presidential polls, President Mahama, who has also denied the petitioners' claims and insisted he won the election freely, fairly and in the full glare of the media, domestic and international observers.

Meanwhile, the Supreme Court, in a 6-3 majority decision, yesterday allowed the NDC to join the petition as a third respondent.

The court was of the view that "it will be in the interest of justice" to allow the NDC to join the petition, since the outcome of the case will have a direct bearing on the party.

According to the court, the fortunes of the NDC and those of the President were "tied together" and it was, therefore, important for the NDC to be allowed to join the petition to assist the court to get to the bottom of the matter.

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