General News of Wednesday, 23 January 2013

Source: myjoyonline

NPP’s claims of irregularities don't exist - Ato Dadzie insists

A member of the NDC legal team says the party is well armed to prove that the NPP’s claims of irregularities and calls for Nana Akufo-Addo to be named winner of the 2012 polls are trivial.

Nana Ato Dadzie told Joy FM’s Top Story that certain decisions arrived at during Inter Party Advisory Committee (IPAC) meetings concerning elections irregularities would give away the NPP.

In a 6-3 verdict announced on Tuesday, the Supreme Court upheld the arguments of the NDC that it had to join the petition filed by the NPP’s candidate for the 2012 presidential election and two others because it sponsored the first respondent to the petition, President John Mahama, in the elections whose outcome the petitioners are challenging.

A member of the NPP legal team, Ms Gloria Akuffo contended that the petitioners thought through their application carefully and after considering the irregularities involved, they decided that the "proper party" – John Mahama and Electoral Commission -should be joined and not the NDC.

“As of now, if you look at our papers, there is nothing against the NDC but the court has spoken, and we have to join them and we will join them, and then we will see what they have to say by way of answer when we have brought nothing against them.”

But Nana Ato Dadzie replied: “When we get there we will be in a position to show that we were also under IPAC, NPP was under IPAC, some decisions were taken, joint decisions were taken by the parties and those issues of irregularities that they are raising are inconsequential. In fact they don’t exist.”

He described today’s ruling as a victory for law and democracy, noting that lawyers who were in court learnt a lot from the positions taken by the judges.

“Our democracy and our law are being deepened substantially by the ruling of today. Listening to nine judges, each one proffers his opinion on the issue; it’s been very, very instructive,” he remarked.

Asked how many witnesses the legal team is likely to call, Nana Ato Dadzie said that would be dependent on the number of witnesses to be called by the petitioners.

He said, for now, the NDC is waiting to be “served with the formal processes” in order to file it answer to the petition for the case to go to trial.

Meanwhile, Ms Gloria Akuffo has pointed out that although she is not “naturally” happy with the court’s decision, the legal team is not perturbed.

She only prayed that the court puts in place system that would ensure that the petition is determined expeditiously.