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General News of Wednesday, 12 December 2018


I've endured 'most painful, diabolical, unending vilification' – Atuguba

Retired Supreme Court Judge, Justice William Atuguba Retired Supreme Court Judge, Justice William Atuguba

Retired Supreme Court Judge, Justice William Atuguba, has said he has suffered and continue to contend with ceaseless vilification and criticism due to the 2012 election petition verdict which the Supreme Court panel he chaired, delivered in favour of President John Mahama in 2013.

“As for the vilifications, they are unending, and sometimes most painful. You can’t believe that some human beings are capable of diabolical behaviour,” he said at a lecture series organised by the Catholic Church.

According to him, “That election petition was decided through prayer by the panel”.

“When the decision came, there was peace; total peace in the country,” he added.

The Supreme Court’s verdict of the election petition endorsed the victory of the then-President, Mr Mahama after the 7 December 2012 general elections.

The then-opposition New Patriotic Party (NPP), led by Dr Mahamudu Bawumia, argued that they had every reason to believe that the results were rigged in favour of the National Democratic Congress’ John Mahama.

They prayed the court to declare their candidate, Nana Akufo-Addo as President with reason that unpardonable malpractices and irregularities at 10,119 polling stations justified the nullification of 3,931,339 valid votes, which, the petitioners argued, would have beaten down Mr Mahama’s votes and overturned the declared results by the Electoral Commission.

According to the NPP’s pleadings, over-voting occurred at 1,722 polling stations, while voting without biometric verification occurred at 2,020 polling stations.

They claimed presiding officers did not also sign pink sheets at 1,638 polling stations, while the use of duplicate serial numbers on pink sheets affected 8,987 polling stations.

The petitioners further argued that if the results of the 10,119 polling stations were annulled, President Mahama’s votes would have reduced by 2,622,551, which would have, in turn, beaten down the results declared by the Electoral Commission in his favour, to 41.79 per cent.

They said although Nana Akufo-Addo’s votes would have, in like manner, been reduced by 1,233,186, he would have nonetheless secured 56.85 per cent, per their permutations, to cross the 50 per cent mark for victory.

But the nine-member Supreme Court panel, in its ruling read by Justice Atuguba, upheld Mr Mahama’s victory.

The other justices who sat on the case included: Justices Julius Ansah, Sophia Adinyira, Rose Constance Owusu, Jones Victor Dotse, Anin Yeboah, Paul Baffoe-Bonnie, N. S. Gbadegbe and Vida Akoto-Bamfo.