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General News of Thursday, 18 February 2021


Let’s apply the law properly and stop the gimmicks - Akufo-Addo’s Lawyer to Petitioner

Fatimatu Abubakari, Member of Akufo-Addo's legal team in the Election Petition play videoFatimatu Abubakari, Member of Akufo-Addo's legal team in the Election Petition

A member of the legal team for the second respondent in the Election Petition hearing has advised lawyers for the Petitioner to stick to the law and not argue for the sake of public sympathy.

Fatimatu Abubakari, who is also a spokesperson for Nana Akufo-Addo, questioned the motive behind the request by the Petitioner’s lawyers, to have the EC Chair in the witness box when, according to her, it was clear no substantial evidence has been presented so far before the court.

She made the comments in an interview with GhanaWeb, following the Supreme Court’s dismissal of John Dramani Mahama’s application to re-open his case to Subpeona the Electoral Commissioner [Jean Mensa] in order to compel her to testify.

The apex court made the unanimous decision on the basis that Lawyer Tsatsu Tsikata, who is the lead Counsel for Mahama, failed to cite authorities in law to back his arguments. The court also explained that the Petitioner did not provide an incline of material evidence which will cushion his case.

The decision by the court, however, did not sit well with the Lawyers of the Petitioner who suggested the Supreme Court appeared to be shielding the EC Chair, Jean Adukwei Mensa.

According to Spokesperson for the Petitioner Dominic Ayine, his side believed the EC boss had the constitutional responsibility to answer to some pertinent questions with regards to the presidential results declaration on December 9, 2020.

Mr Ayine also stated that the ‘fight’ by the NDC flagbearer was in the interest of the public.

But the Lawyers for the respondents disagreed with the assertion by the Petitioner and his lawyers.

“Per law, if you can’t compel someone to be in the witness box, the court is saying that his is not an irregular case. Show us a law that states that the rule that applies to you and I or everybody shouldn’t apply to the EC Chair because she is a public officer

"And then the Petitioner’s lawyers have failed to point out a single law; be it by status, the constitution or case law. They haven’t shown any law. But to say that it doesn’t hurt, appeal to conscience and that if you are God-fearing your conscience. You are in the court of law for Christ’s sake”

Lawyer Fatimatu Abubakari advised other practitioners, “we should not follow the bandwagon and say let’s use some gimmicks to gain public sympathy”.

She added in the interview with GhanaWeb that, “It is our responsibility [as Lawyers] to apply the law properly and also to educate the public” about the processes that go on in the court of law.

The case continues today, Thursday February 18, following the Chief Justice’s order to parties involved to have their closing statements ready for hearing.