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General News of Monday, 22 July 2013

Source: Daily Guide Network

Election Petition: Kufuor prays for judges

As Ghanaians eagerly awaits the outcome of the presidential election petition before the Supreme Court, former President John Agyekum Kufuor has entreated Ghanaians to pray for the judges handling the case.

He said the judges would need all the prayers in the world to have the clarity of mind and the courage to deliver their verdict on the election petition.

“It is in this vein that I ask all concerned to pray for the justices of the Supreme Court to have the clarity of mind and vision to be bold and fearless in the discharge of their duties, which destiny has called upon them to do,” President Kufuor stated.

According to him, this would be the basis for the peace that would prevail after the ruling, adding that “Ghana has come a long way in entrenching constitutional rule and nothing should be done to derail the process.”

The nine-member panel hearing the petition are Justices William Atuguba, Julius Ansah, Sophia Adinyira, Jones Dotse, Rose Owusu, Anim Yeboah, Baffoe Bonnie, Sulley Gbedegbe and Vida Akoto-Bamfo, who will reconvene on Wednesday, July 31 July to fix a date for ruling in the landmark case.

Justice Atuguba is the president of the panel whose performance so far has been described as remarkably fair and firm.

Former President Kufuor called for the prayers in a speech read for him by his spokesperson Frank Agyekum at a national summit organised on Friday for peace before and after the Supreme Court ruling on the presidential petition filed by New Patriotic Party (NPP) 2012 presidential candidate Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, his running mate Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia and NPP national chairman Jake Obetsebi-Lamptey.

The summit was on the theme: ‘Justice, Peace and Reforms will Strengthen Ghana.’ He reminded the Justices that “peace will prevail if justice is seen to be manifestly upheld.”

The three leading members of NPP are challenging the Electoral Commission’s declaration of National Democratic Congress (NDC) 2012 presidential candidate John Dramani Mahama as the president of Ghana, asking the Supreme Court to rather declare Nana Akufo-Addo as the validly elected president in the December 2012 elections.

Hearing on the petition ended on Wednesday, July 17, 2013 and the Supreme Court directed both petitioners and respondents to file their addresses latest by July 30, 2013 after which a ruling may be delivered within 15 days.

Former President Kufuor was glad that both President Mahama and Nana Akufo-Addo had pledged severally to abide by the court ruling whether or not it was in their favour.

“The whole world is watching them and they must be true to their word. More importantly, I urge them to carry their numerous supporters with them in the same vehicle in accepting the ruling of the court,” the former first gentleman of the land and commander-in-chief of the Ghana Armed Forces pointed out.

He stressed that it was the bounden duty of the two leaders to educate their supporters about the possible outcomes of the case and the need to accept the verdict in good faith no matter how bitter it would be for them.

Former President Kufuor admonished the media to be neutral and responsible with regard to their duties as watchdogs in society.

“As mediums of mass communication, they must be the first to be aware of what is said or written in their medium, (as these) have an immediate and far-reaching effect for good or bad,” former President Kufuor emphasised.

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