Ghana: Nana Heads Legal Team to State NPP's Case At the Supreme Court

The New Patriotic Party (NPP) is currently assembling an astute group of legal brains, ably coordinated by the party's flagbearer, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, to fight its case of electoral fraud in the just-ended presidential and parliamentary elections at the Supreme Court.

The New Patriotic Party has rejected the official results of the elections, as announced by the Electoral Commission, and has officially given its intent to contest the results, which awarded the National Democratic Congress (NDC) candidate, John Dramani Mahama, 50.7 percent of valid votes cast, as against 47.7 for Nana Addo.

The party's stance is against the background of what it terms gross "abnormalities","fraud" and "inconsistencies" which characterised figures which placed President John Mahama as winner of the polls.

Article 64 of the 1992 Constitution provides guidelines for contesting electoral results, and the NPP says it would leave no stone unturned to ensure that each and every citizen's vote counts in the just-ended elections.

Article 64 of the 1992 constitution states:

(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.

Nana Akomea, Communications Director for the NPP, was emphatic that the party would file its case at the Supreme Court within the 21 days, as stipulated by the Constitution, and was optimistic the hearing of the case could start in full by January 15, 2013

He hinted The Chronicle that the party had so far gathered "overwhelming evidence" of fraud, which the party would soon present before the Supreme Court.

He indicated that the party was determined to present "water tight" evidence at the court, adding that the party's auditing team had so far concluded work on 20,000 polling station results, "and the results are quite shocking," he noted.

Effect of court action on current constitutional processes

President-elect John Dramani Mahama has already instituted a transitional team, headed by the Vice President, Kwesi Amissah Arthur.

The President-elect is also due to be sworn in as President of the Republic on January 7, 2013, but Nana Akomea says none of these constitutional processes currently ongoing would affect the validity of their case in court.

He referred to Article 64 (2) of the Constitution which provides that: "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."

Basis of action

The New Patriotic Party is of the view that fighting its case in court was proper in strengthening the country's growing democracy.

"It is good for our democracy....if such margins of fraud could be detected in our voting pattern, they must not be swept under the carpet," Nana Akomea suggested.

Nana Akomea further emphasised that in the choosing of a leader by the people through the ballot, it was the individual votes placed in the ballot boxes that should count, and not how or who counts it that should count.

"We hope to be able to show evidence that shows clearly that the numbers are so significant that it will affect the winner," he added.

He, however, urged all interested parties to accept the verdict of the Supreme Court, when it makes its ruling on the matter.

He also hinted of a current development where officials of the Electoral Commission were inviting on an individual basis, some NPP polling agents for reasons yet unknown. He has cautioned all party polling agents not to honour any such invitations by the EC.

The party also condemned, in no uncertain terms, the raid on its offices by a team of military and police personnel in search of "non-existing" arms.

To him, the raid smacked of mischief, especially when the raided premises were offices used by the NPP to collate its evidence for its intended court action.

The party also protested the shutting down of some TV and radio stations during the electioneering period.

"It is an affront to our democracy and an attack on the media...that is not the way our democracy should go..." Nana Akomea noted.

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