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General News of Sunday, 24 January 2021

Source: www.ghanaweb.com

Mac Manu insists election petition is conjectural, but petitioner presses for a review on 'interrogatories'

Peter Mac Manu, the campaign manager for the incumbent New Patriotic Party in the December 7, 2020, election says in a witness statement on behalf of Nana Akufo-Addo that the election petition filed by John Dramani Mahama at the Supreme Court is conjectural and borne out of his unfounded imagination.

According to him, the entire petition at the Supreme Court is premised on the “insignificant inaccuracies and slips in the ‘declaration of the results’ of the election, rather than the validity of the election and the actual results thereof”.

“My Lords, the Petition is largely conjectural and borne out of Petitioner’s unfounded imagination, and also the material facts in the Petition do not support the reliefs sought,” Mac Manu stated.

“These slips and errors did not affect the outcome of the election, and I say that [Nana Akufo-Addo] won the presidential election of 7 December 2020.”

He added that the 2020 election petition by John Dramani Mahama does not disclose any attack on the validity of the elections held throughout the 38,622 polling stations and 311 special voting centres.

Peter Mac Manu described John Mahama’s averments of vote padding as “empty and collectively involve about 6,622 votes- this is a sum patently insignificant to materially affect the outcome of an election [in] which 2nd respondent defeated petitioner by well over 500,000 votes.”

He stated further that Mahama’s refusal to recognize, “logical and self-evident matters has led petitioner erroneously to seek a second election”.

The petition, Mac Manu concluded in the witness statement, is a ruse and face-saving gimmick deployed by former President Mahama after the official results declared by the EC Chairperson and election observers showed that he had lost the election despite petitioner’s claim that he had won.

Peter Mac Manu indicated that he had attached to the witness statement videos of prominent NDC leaders claiming that John Dramani Mahama had won the 2020 election by more than 50% of the valid votes cast.



About the Election Petition:

John Dramani Mahama after the December polls disagreed with the declaration of the presidential election results.

Consequently, he filed a petition at the Supreme Court to challenge that declaration.

In his petition, Mahama avers that neither him nor Nana Akufo-Addo, being the two leading candidates, obtained the constitutionally mandated “more than 50 per cent of the total valid votes cast” per the results declared on 9 December, by Jean Mensa, the EC’s Chairperson.

Mahama argues further that if that 9 December declaration which was based on wrong results and a wrong calculation of the then outstanding Techiman South results were considered, then there was no winner, thereby necessitating a rerun.

In summary, Mahama, through his lawyers, is praying the Supreme Court to annul the declaration of 9 December as unconstitutional and further that all subsequent amendments by the EC, to the extent that those amendments were announced without a prior re-collation in the presence of the agents of the candidates as required by Constitutional Instrument (C.I.) 127, but were thrust on the people of Ghana via unsigned press statements are null and void, and of no effect whatsoever.

John Dramani Mahama is currently seeking a review of the Supreme Court ruling during the hearing of this instant case which prevented him from serving “interrogatories” on the EC through a process known as “Discovery”. Through that Discovery process, Mahama’s legal team argues, they can narrow down the issues for trial in order to not waste the court’s time.

His stay of proceedings application must be heard on Tuesday, January 26, before anything is considered. Mac Manu’s witness statement, which their lordships ordered in response to Mahama’s expected witness statement which the latter has failed to file until the stay is granted will therefore have to wait for a determination of the “stay”.

If the stay is rejected, and the review not heard, it will be interesting to hear how counsel for the petitioner proceeds with the case.

That is what the whole nation is waiting to hear. Meanwhile, Justin Amenuvor, counsel for the EC on 22 January filed a preliminary legal objection to the petition saying that the petition has not disclosed any reasonable cause of action” and hence must be thrown out.

The case is expected to end by 10 February but looks unlikely given the petitioner’s application for a review of the ruling on the “interrogatories” and the matters raised therein which come in sharp contrast with their lordships who have clearly indicated that they are in a hurry to dispose of the case.

Their lordships cite C.I. 99 which counsels for the petitioner say mentions absolutely nothing about an expeditious trial that sacrifices justice.

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