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General News of Wednesday, 30 December 2020


Courts don’t interrogate rumours and conspiracy theories – Kweku Baako to NDC

Veteran journalist Kweku Baako Veteran journalist Kweku Baako

After weeks of demonstrations and press conferences, the National Democratic Congress (NDC) has served notice of its decision to challenge the result of the 2020 Elections at the Supreme Court.

The party has since December 7 alleged various act of infractions and collusion on the part of the Electoral Commission and the New Patriotic Party to rig the elections.

But as the party readies itself for a landmark battle, veteran journalist Kweku Baako has sent a word of caution to the party.

He reminded the party and its supporters that rumours and conjectures are not admissible in the courtroom.

Baako averred that cogent evidence and sound argument are the only things that are tolerated in the courtroom.

“To apply the kwasia bi nti logic, any idiot can go to court but the note of caution is that the court does not interrogate suspicions, rumors and conjecture. They deal with facts, evidence and law”.

Baako in a separate post praised the NDC over its decision to go to court and contest the results read by Jean Mensa of the Electoral Commission on December 9.

“I want to commend Mahama for opting to activate Article 64(1) of the 1992 Constitution of Ghana the same way then Candidate Akufo-Addo, his running mate, Dr Mahamudu Bawumia and the late Jake Obetsebi-Lamptey, then the National Chairman of New Patriotic Party (NPP) did in the wake of the Declaration of the outcome of Election 2012!”.

He, however, stated that under the current rules, only John Dramani Mahama, the presidential candidate of the NDC can be recognized as the petitioner.

“Interestingly, Rule 4 of C. I. 99 has introduced a new Rule 69BA which effectively prohibits joinder or intervener of a person not stated in the Presidential Election Petition as a petitioner or respondent. What this means is that we shall not have a repetition of the 2013 situation where the NDC applied to join the action/litigation even though it wasn't initially included in the list of respondents.”

Article 64(1) of the Constitution provides that "the validity of the election of the President may be challenged only by a citizen of Ghana who may present a petition for the purpose to the Supreme Court within twenty-one days after the declaration of the result of the election in respect of which the petition is presented".

The authors of the Fourth Edition of the Manual under reference, after highlighting the purpose of Article 64(1), in my candid opinion, proceeded to pose a question of far-reaching implications and constitutional significance.

"The question is: can the petition be brought by more than one Ghanaian citizen? "

Their answer was to the effect that: "The validity of the election of the President may be challenged only by a citizen of Ghana who may present a petition for the purpose to the Supreme Court" ENVISAGES THAT A PETITION, CHALLENGING THE VALIDITY OF THE ELECTION OF THE PRESIDENT, MAY BE COMMENCED BY THE PERSON WHO HAD BEEN DECLARED BY THE ELECTORAL COMMISSION AS THE LOSING PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE. IN OTHER WORDS, THE ELECTION MAY BE CHALLENGED ONLY BY THE PERSON WHO ALLEGES THAT HE WAS THE WINNER AT THE ELECTION"(All caps- mine),” Baako added.