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Opinions of Saturday, 15 December 2012

Columnist: Owusu-Gyamfi, Clifford

Justice on trial: The Law versus NPP allegations

“If you want peace but refuse to let justice prevail, then you are equal to the person who wants war.” //Nana Konadu Agyemang Rawlings.

The whole world watched with a keen interest and anticipation as Ghana went to the polls on the 7th December 2012. The two major political parties namely the National Democratic Congress (NDC) and New Patriotic Party (NPP) were all on the height of getting hold on the high constitutional seat of Ghana. After two days of tight voting, John Dramani Mahama representing the NDC emerged as the winner for the presidential race by a percent of 50.70% against his tough rival Nana Addo Danquah Akoffo who had 47.74 out of the total votes cast.

In following the declaration of the winner of the 2012 presidential election, the opposition party has refused to concede defeat because of an alleged conspiracy supposed to have been connived by the Electoral Commission and the NDC which resulted in their victory. To the NPP, the number of votes collated by the EC isn't a true reflection of figures recorded from the various constituencies. By their facts and figures, over 180,000 votes were massaged in favor of John Dramani Mahama of the NDC whilst some votes of Nana Addo Danquah Akoffo of the NPP were altered. In short the reportage between some constituencies and EC were adulterated hence leading to electoral fraud. In view of this, the NPP is embarking on a restless pursuit of justice from the Supreme Court to reverse the decisions of the EC. Does the NPP have a case at all? ARTICLE #64 of the Ghanaian constitution reads:

(1) The validity of the election of the President may be challenged only by a citizen of Ghana who may present a petition for the purpose to the Supreme Court within twenty-one days after the declaration of the result of the election in respect of which the petition is presented.

(2) A declaration by the Supreme Court that the election of the President is not valid shall be without prejudice to anything done by the President before the declaration.

(3) The Rules of Court Committee shall, by constitutional instrument, make rules of court for the practice and procedure for petitions to the Supreme Court challenging the election of a President.

What are we witnessing as a people? What will happen should the NPP win the case? Will the Supreme Court adhere to fair play? Will the NDC accept such a verdict? Could this be a test to Ghana's democracy, law and justice? This is a real trial moment to the laws and justice in Ghana's history. Since the NPP has all the right to seek for electoral investigation, the law must hear them. The law must decide to establish justice in Ghana no matter the cost. In our quest to heighten our democracy and to enjoy an everlasting peace, justice will play a very key role in our laws; other than that we're laying up eggs on the highway. It's incumbent upon us to seek after justice now than to place the entire nation under bamboozlement. If we refuse to build up a just integrity today, it will cast a shadow on our future decisions whereby the result might be uncontrollable. Nevertheless, great care and wisdom must be exercised in this matter.

Clifford Owusu-Gyamfi

University of Lausanne, Switzerland