Former President John Dramani Mahama, the Petitioner of the 2020 Presidential Election Petition has filed his witness statement as ordered by the Supreme Court on Tuesday, 26, 2021.
The Petitioner has served notice that he would rely on Dr Michael Kpessa-Whyte, Mr Mahama’s representative in the Electoral Commission’s national collation Centre (strong room) and Mr Johnson Asiedu Nketiah, the General Secretary of the National Democratic Congress as his witnesses.
In a 42-paragraph written statement, Mr Asiedu Nketiah held that the EC did not confer with the agents of the Petitioner’s that there was any reasonable basis to revise figures of the Petitioner and Nana Addo the second respondent.
“This is was contrary to the responsibilities of the EC under Article 296 of the Constitution.
He held that under Article 296 of the Constitution, the EC and Nana Addo were not “be baised either by resentment, prejudice or personal dislike in exercising discretionary powers but they were required to exercise powers in accordance with the law.”
He argued that the figures underpinning the purported declaration of December 9, 2020 and the “corrections”, as well as the “corrections of the correction”, were unwittingly confirmed by no other person than Mr. Mac Manu, President Nana Akufo-Addo’s (Second Respondent) representative in Court, who was also his Campaign Manager for the December 7, 2020 Presidential Election, who claimed that after the Respondents had been served with the Petition, that Petitioner also benefitted from vote-padding by the 1st Respondent.
“A clip of his interview is attached to this witness statement and marked as Exhibit “G”,” he added.
He said the Chairperson of the Electoral Commission (First Respondent) had, subsequent to her purported declaration on December 9, 2020, purported to gazette the declaration, she made on December 9, 2020 by publishing the Declaration of the President-Elect Instrument, 2020 (C.I. 135), claiming that Second Respondent was the winner of the Presidential Election on the basis of him having obtained more than 50 per cent of the valid votes cast.
He has, therefore, attached a copy of C.I. 135 to the witness statement and marked as Exhibit “H”
Mr Nketiah said the gazette notification of the outcome of the Presidential Election was based on the declaration actually made on December 9, 2020 by Mrs. Jean Adukwei Mensa as the Chairperson of First Respondent and the Returning Officer of the Presidential Election.
He said the said gazette notification, being notification of the unconstitutional, error-ridden publicly broadcast declaration made by Mrs. Mensa on the evening of December 9, 2020, was, therefore, also unconstitutional.
He said the only actual valid votes cast, counted and featured in the collation of the December 7, 2020 Presidential Election could be reflected in any constitutionally valid and legitimate declaration of results by the Chairperson of the Electoral Commission.
“Any changes or corrections to figures announced will also have to reflect those votes. The basis of a declaration of the election results cannot, and should not, be manufactured or be the result of strained mathematical adjustments of vote numbers and percentages in support of an erroneous premise, just to maintain what is indisputably an error-ridden declaration by the Returning Officer, Mrs Mensa,” he said.
He said to uphold the Constitution of Ghana, it was clearly necessary for the Apex Court to set aside the error-ridden and unconstitutional declaration made on December 9, 2020 by the Chairperson of First Respondent and the Returning Officer for the Presidential Election and in respect of the Presidential Election of December 7, 2020.
Dr Kpessa-Whyte on his part, said as one of Petitioner’s representatives in the First Respondent’s “Strongroom”, he noticed many material irregularities during the entire process of the December 7, 2020 Presidential Election.
Consequently, with his colleague representative at the “strong room”, Mr. Robert Joseph Mettle-Nunoo, he brought these many material irregularities to the immediate attention of the Petitioner and the National Democratic Congress (NDC), the political party on whose ticket the Petitioner contested as candidate for the office of President in the Presidential Election held on December 7, 2020.
He said based on their observation of the many material anomalies in the collation of votes in the “strongroom” and the subsequent report of same to the Petitioner and the NDC, the NDC immediately caused a letter to be written to the First Respondent, detailing some of the Petitioner’s and the NDC’s concerns.
The Supreme Court on Tuesday, January 26, cautioned that it would not hesitate to dismiss the 2020 Election Petition filed by former President John Mahama if the petitioner failed to comply with the court’s order to file his witness statement.
The apex court gave the caution after Former President Mahama, whose lawyers had told the court that they had five witnesses, failed to comply with the court’s order to file their witness statements by Thursday, January 21, 2021, as ordered by the court.
The Court had on Wednesday, January 20, 2021, ordered the petitioner to file his witness statements by Thursday, January 21, 2021.
Asked at the last sitting by the Court why the witness statements had not been filed, Mr Tony Lithur, one of the lawyers for the petitioner, stated that
It was because he had filed a motion asking the court to halt the proceedings until the final determination of the review application on interrogatories, which was dismissed by the court.
He argued among others that, the petition could be undermined if the application for review was not heard.
The situation, could also affect their witness statements, he said.
When the Court resumed from a recess for about 30 minutes, it ordered the petitioner to file his witness statements by Wednesday, January 27.
The court, subsequently, fixed Thursday, January 28, 2021 as the next date for hearing.
Mr Mahama’s petition is asking the
Supreme Court to order the Electoral Commission to conduct a second Presidential Election for the New Patriotic Party’s Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo and himself, since none of the 12 candidates in the December 2020 race won more than 50 percent of the valid votes cast to win.
The EC, therefore, should not have declared Candidate Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo victorious, on December 9, it contends.