General News of Monday, 2 September 2013
Source: The Scandal
The ruling given by Ghana’s Supreme Court last Thursday on the election petition case appears to have implicitly endorsed the country’s present electoral process even though the grain of the petitioner’s case was about violations and irregularities in the rules of the game.
Five of the Justices namely; Atuguba, Adinyira, Baffoe-Bonnie, Gbadegbe, Akoto-Bamfo dismissed the claims of over-voting, absence of the signatures of Presiding Officers and claims relating to voting without biometric verification.
Interestingly, the same Justice Baffoe-Bonnie was penciled in the judgment read by Justice Atuguba as having granted the claim of voting without biometric verification, and called for a rerun in the affected areas.
Justice Dotse, a panel member, who has been reported as saying that after the election petition case, elections in Ghana would never be the same again, granted only two of the petitioners’ claims namely; over-voting and the absence of signatures of the presiding officers.
As Justice Atuguba put it “In the circumstances, the overall effect is that the first respondent was validly elected, and the petition is, therefore, dismissed.”
So then, impliedly, and by majority decision, the Supreme Court in dismissing the case appears to be saying that nothing wrong happened, the processes were clean, and that the claims of over-voting, absence of signatures of presiding officers and voting without biometric verification are not true or were not sufficiently proven.
Like Justice Dotse, most Ghanaians believed that even if the Supreme Court did not grant the petitioners’ their reliefs, it will pronounce some electoral reforms to cater for whatever went wrong. But one can understand that no doctor prescribes medicine for a non-existent ailment. If the claims were dismissed, then it means the claims were mere illusions and, therefore, did not need any cure.
While we await the statements of judgment to understand the law and logic behind Thursday’s ruling, it is clear that we were all wrong about the conduct and processes of the 2012 elections at least from the point of view of Justices Atuguba, Adinyira, Baffoe-Bonnie, Gbadegbe and Akoto-Bamfo. See below the full text of the Final Verdict.