General News of Friday, 23 August 2013
Renowned lawyer and former President of the Ghana Bar Association (GBA), Samuel Okudzeto, says the possibility of a review after the Supreme Court ruling on the presidential election petition depends on the majority of the nine judges supporting one side or the other.
He said: "it will not make sense" for an aggrieved party to seek a review if the judgment is 9-0, 8-1, 7-2 or 6-3 because "the additional two judges cannot overturn the verdict".
Sam Okudzeto was speaking on Adom TV's political analysis programme Bedwam, on Multi TV Thursday.
The court will on Thursday, August 29, give its final ruling on the election petition challenging the legitimacy of President John Mahama.
The petitioners, Nana Akufo-Addo, the presidential candidate of the New Patriotic Party (NPP), his running mate, Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia and Jake Obetsebi Lamptey, Chairman of the NPP, are praying the court to overturn the elections in their favour.
But even before the final verdict after 48 days of 'legal battle', the Institute of Economic Affairs is proposing that losing parties in the petition should not seek review.
But Sam Okudzeto maintains that even though the Supreme Court's decision can be reviewed, it is not "automatic".
"We must still appreciate the fact that a review is not an automatic matter because the law says they [Supreme Court] may review. It does not mean that once there is a judgment, there is an automatic right of a review" he stated.
"I feel we are actually jumping the gun about this celebration of review. They [parties] are making it seem as if so long as the judgment is given irrespective of the number, there must be a review. It does not work that way" he bemoaned.
The former GBA president noted that even if the decision by the court turns out to be 5-4, "I don’t see how the two additional judges are going to arrive at any reasonable decision when they were involved in the original trial".
"Let us be patient and wait, this same judges who will taken the decision may be the same to take the decision as to whether there is the need for a review".