Wednesday, January 30, 2013


The petitioners in court yesterday

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By William Yaw Owusu
Wednesday January 30, 2013.

The Supreme Court yesterday sitting on the petition filed by New Patriotic Party (NPP) presidential candidate, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo and two others challenging the declaration of John Dramani Mahama as President by the Electoral Commission (EC) was inundated by horde of applications filed by parties in the case.

Currently, the nine-member panel chaired by Justice William Atuguba is hearing an application filed by the Electoral Commission (2nd respondent in the petition) and another filed by the, President Mahama (1st respondent in the petition), all asking the petitioners for ‘further and better particulars’ of the 4,709 polling stations where the petitioners are alleging irregularities in the just-ended general elections.

When the long back-and-forth argument was concluded, the petitioners also moved another application for interrogatories asking the court to order the 2nd respondent (the EC) to furnish them with the list of voters, including peace keepers, students, embassy staff who were registered abroad.

The EC had claimed that over 200,000 people were registered abroad whereas earlier reports suggested that they were far less than 5000.

The highest court of the land has already disposed of an application for joinder that was filed by National Democratic Congress (NDC) to be part of the case and had ruled that the NDC is an interested party to the petition and have thus automatically become part of the case.

With the filing of the applications, the court would have to conclude and make decisions before the main petition could proceed.

There were heated arguments as the applications were moved and the issue of whether it was right for the court to hear counsel for the NDC when the 3rd respondent has not filed any answers to the applications, also came up.

EC Motion
James Quarshie-Idun, supported by Anthony Dabi and Stanley Amarteifio, representing the EC was the first to move his application for further and better particulars from the petitioners: Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, his running mate, Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia and NPP Chairman, Jake Otanka Obetsebi-Lamptey.

He said under Rule 69 (a) sub Rule 4 of Supreme Court Amendment Rule 2012 of C.I. 74 enjoins the petitioners to provide ‘further and better particulars’ to the applicant for the case to move on.

“We made specific references filed by the petitioners in respect of which we are asking for orders to ask the petitioners to provide us with further and better particulars.”

He said the EC is requesting the petitioners to provide the names of and codes of polling stations where the petitioners are alleging that voting were done without prior verification.

He also said that the EC needs the petitioners to furnish them with the polling stations where different results were recorded but had the same code numbers.

Mr. Quarshie-Idun said they also need particulars of the polling stations (in the form of names and codes) where the petitioners are alleging that there were widespread instances where there were no signatures on the sheets provided the party agents.

Justice Sulley Gbadegbe, a member of the panel then cut in to ask counsel for the EC to refer to the affidavit and not the petition but Mr. Quarshie-Idun replied that “I answered the petition because that contained the facts. I could not answer the affidavit.”

After a few minutes of a give-and-take argument, Justice Atuguba said “He (Justice Gbadegbe) has taken notice so you can proceed.”

Proceeding, Mr. Quarshie-Idun said “we are entitled to know which are the 4,709 out of the entire over 26,000 polling stations so we know how to answer them.

He argued that once the petitioners were able to provide further and better particulars for three polling stations where they claimed the votes of Nana Akufo-Addo were reduced and that of President Mahama padded, they should be able to provide the rest of the 4,709.

He asked the court to consider ‘persuasive force’ to get the petitioners to furnish the EC with further and better particulars.

“We will be taken by surprise if they do not indicate to us the names the polling stations and their codes. We are asking them to give us particulars of the facts.”

Mahama’s Application
Tony Lithur, assisted by Dr. Abdul Bassit Aziz Bamba, representing President Mahama also moved another motion for further and better particulars since the court had indicated that they wanted to take the two applications together before the petitioners put in an opposition.

Mr. Lithur said that they filed the application under the same rules used by the EC to make the request.

He cited both local and foreign cases to buttress his point and his line of argument compelled Justice Anin-Yeboah to find out from counsel whether a ‘petition’ can be deemed to be a ‘pleading’.

Mr. Lithur said “petition is not a pleading but the general rules of litigation are no different,” before Justice Atuguba also wanted to find out the  effect of counsel’s argument.

The President’s counsel said “a petition in terms of articulating a person’s cause of action is not different from the claims.

He said “in order to ground a cause of action, it is essential to isolate and identify the polling stations to which the allegations of irregularities occurred” since the petition is only concerned about 4,709 polling stations and not the whole election.

“They must be identified by name and code since they form the petitioner’s cause of action.”

He said “by their own pleadings, there is a manner in which polling stations are identified and they must provide the codes as provided by the 2nd respondent (EC).

“This petition is about numbers and essentially it is a conglomeration of numbers that that the petitioners have picked which they are seeking to annul.”

He said the courts should order the petitioners to provide for each polling station the number of votes that are the subject matter of fraud, irregularity or malpractice.

He argued that if that is done by the petitioners, it would help to “narrow down the issues, adding “it helps us to determine the actual number of witnesses.”

When Justice Atuguba alerted counsel to the fact that he was re-arguing the motion, Mr. Lithur took notice and went on to say “they (petitioners) did not provide sufficient particulars and on a good day I would have asked that this petition be struck out.”

Justice Atuguba then asked if that was what Rule 69 allows a party to do and counsel said “I said on a good day. The petition is not giving guidance about the exact nature of the case.”

“They are seeking to do ambush litigation. This is not guerrilla warfare where you can hide to do your own things. It is not an ordinary litigation. It is firmly grounded in Article 64 of the Constitution and the rules of court that seeks to operationalise that power must be seen to be assuming those powers.”

Petitioners Oppose to Applications
Philip Addison, supported by Gloria Akuffo, Frank Davies, Alex Quaynor, Akoto Ampaw, Kwame Akuffo, Nana Asante Bediatuo, Godfred Yeboah Dame, Egbert Faibille and Professor Kenneth Attafuah, then opposed the application for further and better particulars of the EC and President Mahama.

Responding to the EC, Mr. Addison said that the commission filed an answer to the petition and where they answered every paragraph and they were able to do so because of High Court Rules Order 11 Rule 7 (1).

“We set out the material facts for which we are relying on. We set out the nature of the irregularity. All we are waiting for is to give evidence.”

He said that ground 3 of their petition sets out the particulars of violations of irregularities adding “the categorical denial of same of these allegations were in the 2nd respondent’s (EC) answers.”

He said that the EC has custody of the originals of the pink sheets and could not turn around to claim it from the petitioners adding “they must have verified from the sheets before declaring the results.”

He said that there can be no question of surprise if the applicants were not given further and better particulars.

Justice Paul Baffoe-Bonnie then asked Mr. Addison to address the court on the fact that the petitioners have specifically mentioned 4,709 polling stations and that was what the applicants were seeking to be given details and counsel said “that will amount to giving the respondents the evidence we intend to give in this court.”

Justice Rose Owusu cut in to ask what then was the purpose of the petitioners providing details for three polling stations which they said the 1st petitioners votes were reduced and the 1 respondent’s votes were padded.

Mr. Addison responded that those allegations would not be determined based on just looking on the plain sheets and added that but the rest which were not given are there on the plain sheets which they intend to use as evidence.

Justices Annin-Yeboah, Jones Dotse and Gbedegbe all cut in at some points to ask why the petitioners had failed to give specific details of the 4,709 polling stations and Justice Gbadegbe was concerned about the practice whereby all the legal teams were resorting to arguments set out in the petition instead of the affidavits files.

Mr. Addison replied that “we have set out the facts in our affidavit. What we are being asked to disclose will amount to giving them the evidence that we are going to provide.”

On Mahama
Turning his attention on President Mahama’s request, counsel said that “the 1st respondent did not write to us for further and better particulars as it is the practice and must be struck out.”

When asked by Justice Owusu about what Rule 69 (a) (4) of C.I.74 meant, counsel said “Indeed 2nd respondent (EC) wrote first to the petitioners before bringing this application.”

“There are categorical denial by the 1st respondent and they said they will put the petitioners to strict proof. That burden will be discharged by evidence and now that you say you will put the petitioners to strict proof you come back to say that you want further evidence which we intend to use.”

“They say the petition lacks any basis in law or fact yet they are here to ask for further and better particulars.”

He said the nature of the alleged offences have been itemized or set out in the petition saying “what we have given the respondents is enough. It has enabled them to put up comprehensive answers.”

Tsatsu’s Request
Tsatsu Tsikata, representing the NDC sought to make an argument and the court said they were taking a short break.

After the break Mr. Tsikata got on his feet to make an input since he says the NDC is an interested party and had to be heard but Mr. Addison objected saying Mr. Tsikata had not filed any application showing the NDC’s interest in the two applications.

The NDC counsel said as indicated in their answer after being asked to join the case, they intend to apply to the court to strike out certain pleadings in the petition which he says “are offensive” to the rules or ask the petitioners to provide further and better particulars as the EC and President Mahama had done.

“He better allow us to be heard because we have already served notice. We will apply to the court because the petition lacks adequate particulars.”

Addison’s Objection
At this time tempers were beginning to fly as Mr. Addison cut in to ask the court “In what capacity does counsel make this submission. If he wants to raise any argument he should file it on notice so that we can respond to it.”

“We are no more sure what the rules of the court are. They keep springing surprises on us.”

Judges Retire to Chamber
As the argument became heated, the court adjourned the proceedings for to enable the judges to decide on whether or not Mr. Tsikata could be heard without a formal application filed.

The judges then came back and ruled in 8 -1 majority decision (Atuguba dissenting) that Mr. Tsikata cannot be heard.

EC’s Response
The EC then came in to respond on points of law to the petitioners objection and Mr. Quarshie-Idun said the petitioners had raised an allegation of fraud but Mr. Addison rebutted and said they did not  do so.

Mahama’s Response
Tony Lithur then took floor and said that there is nowhere in the 1st respondent’s submission did they ask for particulars on voter turnout saying “particulars are general but we need specifics.”

Petitioners’ Application for Interrogatories
The court then called another application in which the petitioners want to seek leave of the court to order the EC to serve them with the list of voters registered abroad.

Called an application for interrogatories, the petitioner specifically asked the EC for particulars of Ghanaians serving abroad including foreign service official, students on government scholarship abroad, Ghanaians working in international organizations and service personnel returning on duties.

Mr. Addison said “we have filed this application due to the 2nd respondent’s answer to our petition on the subject of voters registered abroad.”

He said in answer to the petition, the EC had given different figures to which they needed clarity adding “we are saying that the difference of those the EC said they registered is far less than we are being told.”

He said that the petitioner are invoking the inherent jurisdiction of the court to look at the application for interrogatories.

EC Responds
Responding, the Mr. Quarshie-Idun said that the petitioner’s application is premature and added that even the application for further and better particulars had not yet been determined.

Counsel wanted the court to look at the rule for inspection and production of document in the same vein as the application for interrogatories but Justices Annin-Yeboah and Gbadegbe said the rule are different and should be looked at separately.

Tsatsu Comes Again
Mr. Tsikata got up once again to request that the NDC be allowed to respond to the petitioner’s application saying that with the nature of interrogatory application all the parties in the matter needed to be heard.

Justice Baffoe-Bonnie cut in to say that the application strictly concerned the EC and they could have gone ahead to answer the questions raised in the application.

Mr. Tsikata replied that “I don’t see why a party in a proceeding can be isolated in the application to be heard and not be asked to respond.”

Lithur Supports Tsatsu
Tony Lithur in support said “we should be allowed to contribute in this application. To constrain us to constantly file an application on any issue cannot be the best.

Addison Objects
Mr. Addison told the court that they were not blocking the parties from making an input into the matter but they  were asking them to follow the rules of the court by filing  officially adding “unless the rules of the court are no longer necessary, the respondents can decide to do anything they like.”

Court Decides
The court again decided to give a ruling on whether or not the NDC can be heard  and in a 6-3 majority, the court said the NDC can be heard but must file officially.

Justices Baffoe-Bonnie and Annin Yeboah had ruled that the NDC could not be heard while Atuguba said Mr. Tsikata could be heard on points of law now.
The remaining Justices said the NDC could be heard but needed to file on notice.

The case was adjourned to Thursday January 31, 2013 for the NDC to be heard on the petitioner’s application for interrogatories and also for the court to decide whether to grant the separate requests of the EC and President Mahama, asking the petitioners to supply them with further and better particulars.

Friday, January 25, 2013


Amma Abuakwaa Gaisie is the Solicitor-General in Ghana.

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By William Yaw Owusu
Friday January 25, 2012.

The Solicitor-General, Amma Abuakwaa Gaisie has said it is possible that people who claimed judgement debts or compensations from the government could have reapplied to claim again because there are no documents covering the release of funds at her outfit.

She said the situation could arise because all the agencies involved in the release of funds did not notify the Attorney-General’s Department after recommending payments and that could make claimants to come back to them to restart another process.

Mrs. Gaisie was giving evidence on Wednesday at the Commission of Enquiry set up by President John Dramani Mahama to investigate the payments of Judgement Debt (JD) by the state.

The ‘Commission of Enquiry into the payment of Judgement Debt and Akin’ under C.I. 79 to investigate the frivolous and dubious payments of huge monies to undeserving individuals and companies, was appointed by President John Dramani Mahama after public uproar over the huge payments.

Notable among them were payments made to CP (€94 million) and the never-ending case of GH¢51.2million parted to the self-styled National Democratic Candidate (NDC) financier, Alfred Agbesi Woyome, both of which many believed were dubious and frivolous.

The Solicitor-General said that the Ministry of Finance and Economic Planning (MOFEP) and Controller and Accountant-General never writes to them to inform them about payments made and receipts.

She told Sole-Commissioner Justice Yaw Apau of the Court of Appeal that “the only time we get to know about payments are when plaintiffs run back to us about interests. Sometimes they come back to us to say that they agreed on the amount under duress.”

She said that it is in the past 3 or 4 years that MOFEP and other allied agencies have started sending copies of receipts of judgement debt payments and compensation paid by the state.

“Since I joined the AG’s Department, we have made our assessments and sent recommendation for payment to the ministry but the ministry has not been able to notify us about funds released to plaintiffs based on our work. It is only in recent years that they have been sending us receipts.”

The Solicitor-General said they were even trying hard to open a file for letters covering release of funds for payment of judgement debts and compensation.

She said that in 2008, then Attorney-General Joe Ghartey attempted to address the problem when he sat up a committee to look at the payment of debts and compensations paid by the state and the committee met only once.

She said since Mr. Ghartey left office nobody has been able to follow up on what the minister sought to do.

She said when it comes to judgement debts, the AG’s Department liaises with MOFEP in the negotiations including the calculation of interests for plaintiffs.

“I think there is the need for coordination. It could result in double payment. We want a situation where at every given time when you pick the file you know what was paid and how much was paid,” when asked by Justice Apau if the agencies were collaborating in the payment of judgement debts and compensation.

The Solicitor-General tendered in evidence table of judgement debts with suit numbers from 2001 to 2011 but said they were still searching for more evidence.

She also said that they were yet to present similar documents from 1992 to 1999 because of the lack of proper record keeping on the part of state agencies.

Apart from the list, the commission is also seeking list of notices of intention to sue from 1992 to 2012, list of cases that were settled without surfacing in the courts, list of cases that were actually filed in court as well as  list of cases filed that did not see full trial.

The commission is also asking the Solicitor-General to furnish it with list of cases that went full trial and their outcome indicating the amount involved, petition filed, list of  suits pending against the state on either compensation or debt claims arising from either torts committed by state employees, breach of contract among others.

The Solicitor-General said that her office was busily searching for all the documents requested by the commission but the commission would have to give them more time to do the search because it has been hectic getting the information.


Dangote Cement Ghana plant at Tema

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By William Yaw Owusu
Friday January 25, 2012.

A leading cement manufacturer, Dangote Cement says it is strengthening its grip on the Ghanaian market and has targeted the distribution of about 2 million tonnes of cement in 2013.

Additionally, they set June 2013 as the date they would complete another packaging plant to be sited in the northern parts of Ghana to feed the construction industry in the landlocked countries in West Africa.

Tajudeen Adesina Sijuade, Vice Chariman of Green View International Company Limited, a member of Dangote Group, said on Wednesday that currently, Dangote Cement Ghana which started operation in port city Tema about three years ago, was concentrating on the packaging of cement as they seek to go into what he called “full blown” production very soon.

He said that about 3000 tonnes (equivalent to 60,000 bags) of cement are packaged daily in Tema and the high demand had compelled them to expand their distribution network.

“Total demand for cement in the country in 2012 was around 6.1 million tones but the industry was able to supply about 5.02 million tones.”

“Clearly there was a gap and that is the reason why Dangote Cement Ghana wants to lead the way in bridging this gap. We are improving our capacity to supply to satisfy the needs of the industry.”

Alhaji Sijuade said that at the commencement of the company’s operation in 2010, the company supplied 200,000 tonnes and 350,000 tonnes in 2011 at a time, he said “we were out of stock for a long time.”

He said last year, Dangote Cement Ghana packaged 550,000 tonnes and added that “the 2 million target we have set for 2013 is realistic and attainable.”

He said the packaging of Dangote cement makes the product the most preferred in the ever-expanding construction industry.

He also added that currently Dangote Cement Ghana employs about 450 workers and added that the company’s policy of creating more jobs for Africans was being pursued.

Wednesday, January 23, 2013


Nana Akufo-Addo leaves the court yesterday

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By William Yaw Owusu
Wednesday January 23, 2013.

The Supreme Court yesterday in 6 – 3 majority decision ruled that the ruling National Democratic Congress (NDC) can join to be part of the petition challenging the declaration of John Dramani Mahama as President.

The nine-member panel Chaired by Justice William Atuguba therefore directed the NDC, which had filed the motion for joinder, to file their answer to the petition by New Patriotic Party (NPP) presidential candidate and two others within seven days of receipt of the petitioner’s process.

The case was subsequently adjourned until January 29 for hearing, to enable the NDC enter the fray as the 3rd respondent to the Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia and Jake Otanka Obetsebi-Lamptey petition.

Per the rules of the court, the decision of this landmark case is final and not subject to any form of review and the NDC is officially part of the case as respondent.

Initially, the case J8/31/2013 had Nana Akufo-Addo, his running mate Dr. Bawumia and NPP Chairman Mr. Obetsebi-Lamptey were the petitioner with President Mahama and Electoral Commission as respondents but as it is now the NDC becomes the 3rd respondent.

Justices Atuguba, Sophia O. Adinyira, Rose C. Owusu, Jones Victor Dotse, Sule N. Gbadegbe and Vida Akoto-Bamfo ruled that the applicant (NDC) should join the case as a necessary party while Julius Ansah, Anin-Yeboah and Paul Baffoe-Bonnie said the NDC failed to demonstrate that it was a necessary party and should not be allowed to join the case.

When the case was called, Justice Atuguba told anxious audience that Justice Akoto Bamfo was to read the ‘lead opinion’.

Each judge then took turns to explain his/her position on the NDC’s joinder, with some giving reasons for their decision while others deferred their reason.

All the judges gave different interpretations to the rationale behind joinder applications and went ahead to apply the law as it relates to the NDC application.

Majority View
Justice Akoto Bamfo said that even though counsel for the petitioners “mounted an attack” on rules under which the NDC came to court to invoke the court’s jurisdiction, the applicant was protected under the 1992 Constitution.

She said that in as much as the challenge by the petitioners is a constitutional matter, the NDC had also properly invoked the court’s jurisdiction to join the case.

‘A necessary party’
Turning her attention to who is a ‘necessary party’, the judge said that the averments of the applicant is obvious that they nominated and sponsored the 1st respondent (President Mahama) as their candidate in the December 7, 2012 general elections and once the respondent’s election is being challenged, the NDC becomes a necessary party.

She said if the NDC is not allowed to join and the court makes it decision, it could affect their interest as a party that nominated and sponsored the 1st respondent to contest the election.

The judge said it is obvious that political parties are integral part of the democratic dispensation and political process as espoused by Article 55 of the 1992 Constitution.

The judge said that it is a ‘notorious fact’ that the petitioners (Nana, and Bawumia) and the 1st respondent (President Mahama) were nominated by their respective political parties and they campaigned and sold their ideas and programmes to the electorate saying “Under this system of governance political parties play a major role.”

She said it will not be just for the NDC who sponsored a candidate  (Mahama) and whose election is being challenged to be asked to sit on the fence and added that should the court come to the conclusion that the election should be re-run, the same candidates will go back to their respective parties to restart campaigns.

Who is a citizen?
The judge interpreted that an applicant may not be a citizen but could file to join such a case, adding that a political party whose rights are enshrined in the constitution, who sponsored a candidate must not be denied its constitutional rights.

Justice Akoto Bamfo said that it was obvious that the 3rd petitioner (Jake) is in court to protect the interest of his party and the NDC are doing same.

Atuguba Concurs
Concurring, Justice Atuguba said the rules for joinder should not be restricted and added the C.I. 16 should be looked at in its broader sense.

He said that “Rule 45 (4) under which the applicant comes falls under the court’s original jurisdiction,” adding “applicant rightly brought application under C.I. 16.”

The panel chairman said there is a danger of “leaving statutes disjointedly and must be read inter alia under Article 55 of the Constitution”, if the applicant’s case is to be appreciated properly.

He said the rule are clear that political parties are enjoined to sponsor candidates for office apart from District Assemblies and others adding “the office of president is within the confines where a political party is can sponsor a candidate.”

He mentioned that Article 297 (c) talks about the stakes of parties in government while Articles 76 and 78 talks about how state institutions should treat political parties and in all of them, the NDC’s rights must be respected.

He also said that Articles 55 (2) and (10) gives every citizen the right to join any political party of choice or participate in any political activity adding that a political party has constitutional rights to field candidates to contest any public office including the office of the President.

He said the petitioners described and identified themselves as coming from a particular party and that the applicant is also seeking to give practical effect to its involvement in the political process.

He said that the purpose for joinder is to ensure that any issue regarding the case is ‘effectively and completely’ determined so that the court’s decision will be binding on all the parties.

He said the NDC has a ‘very real interest’ as sponsor of the 1st respondent (Mahama) and they (NDC) would better assist the court to resolve the matter adding, “the applicant’s joinder cannot be superfluous.”

Justice Atuguba however, made it clear that the court could not be intimidated by the respondent’s threats to bring 4,800 witnesses because the court has specific rules to cater for that.

Adinyira Concurs
Justice Adinyira who concurred with the majority also said that “it is just and convenient that all the parties should be bound by the decision of the court.”

Owusu Concurs
Justice Owusu, also a member of the majority said the grant of such application is discretional but after assessing the strength of the affidavit she concurred with the majority that the NDC should be made to join the case.

“The applicant is seeking to join the petition on its own intervention so it is called an intervener.”

“It is apparent in the face of the affidavit of the applicant and the petitioners and I find that the applicant has some interest. They are directly to be affected.”

Dotse Concurs
Justice Dotse, another member of the majority said he concurred with his colleagues that the NDC  should be allowed to join to the petition because “a lot of injustice will be done to the applicant and the development of the law in general if they are not allowed to be joined.”

He also supported Justice Atuguba’s assertion that the court will put appropriate measures in place to ensure that the case is not unduly delayed.

Gbadegbe Concurs
Justice Gbadegbe said he agreed with the majority’s view but said “I reserve my conclusion.”

Minority Position
Then came the three justices who dissented starting with Justice Baffoe-Bonnie.

Baffoe-Bonnie Dissents
He said, “I am still not convinced that the applicant (NDC) are a necessary party to be joined in this petition. I find the application unmeritorious.”

 “The the applicant’s (NDC) averments clearly shows that they are only an interested party and no more. They have not shown that they are a necessary party.”

He said that the court was looking at the petitioner as one whose presence would help to effectually and completely deal with the case or one whose exclusion will not serve the interest of justice.

He said the 1st respondent’s (President Mahama) has a higher stake than the NDC because it is the President’s election which is being challenged and the NDC has no business being part of the case.

Justice Baffoe-Bonnie said that the petitioners have not sought any reliefs against the NDC for them to join the case.

He said he looked carefully at the political parties law and others and still did not see how any other statute “makes the NDC a necessary party.”

“I have looked at the law. It is a straight fight between human persons and not between political parties,” he said.

He said that if by the rules, a losing party cannot seek to join the petition then he did not see the reason why the majority could decide that the NDC can join in the name of ‘pluralism and multipartism’ adding “it is obvious discrimination.”

“The applicant has only demonstrated that they have interest in the outcome but not a necessary party who without them there cannot be effectual and complete disposal of the petition.”

Minority stance on who is a citizen
Justice Baffoe-Bonnie said that statutory order makes it clear that political parties cannot file petition but can be done by human persons adding “surely if you don’t have the capacity to sue you must lack the capacity to sue.”

He said in this matter, the law restricts the word ‘include’ when it comes to those who have the capacity to sue or challenge an election petition saying “it excludes the NDC who no claim has been made against.”

He said the 1st respondent has been added to the petition because the law specifically mentions him and added that if the President resigns from the NDC today, he will continue to be President but that cannot apply in the case of an MP and that is the reason why the NDC cannot takeover seek to join the case when President Mahama is the one directly affected.

Annin-Yeboah Dissents
Justice Annin-Yeboah in his support for the minority’s decision said that “I don’t think that any of the factual deposition to the applicant’s affidavit is not denying that the 1st respondent stood on the applicant’s ticket.”

He said that there are three channels through which an applicant can be joined in a case. It is either by the court’s order, by a request from the parties or by an application by an interested party who becomes an intervener according to the court’s rules and clearly the NDC had applied to join as an intervener saying “this is joinder of intervener.”

He said that in this case however, a non-joinder of an intervener will not affect the case in anyway and added that “the applicant failed to justify to the court that they are a necessary party.”

He said there was no attempt made by the NDC to define a ‘necessary party’ as the majority is portraying them saying “the applicant has not demonstrated that without its presence the court cannot effectively dispose off the case.”

“The rule does not provide any rule for an intervener,” and went ahead to state that in the Ekwam vrs Pianim case it was the court that ordered the NPP to join because the reliefs sought directly affected the NPP.

Ansah Dissents
Justice Ansah also supported the minority’s position. He said “I agree that this application must be dismissed.”

He said the petition is properly constituted before the court and the action can be completed without the presence of the applicant.

Tuesday, January 22, 2013


Nana Ato Dadzie (above) and Gloria Akuffo (below) speak for the NDC and NPP respectively

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By William Yaw Owusu
Tuesday January 22, 2013.

The Supreme Court will today determine whether or not the ruling National Democratic Congress (NDC) should be joined in the landmark petition filed by the opposition New Patriotic Party (NPP) which is challenging the validity of the just-ended general elections which the Electoral Commission (EC) said President John Dramani Mahama won.

The court is to rule whether NDC application to join the case should be upheld or thrown out.

The landmark case has attracted attention of almost every Ghanaian, as well as the international community who see the handling of the case by the court as a critical test for Ghana’s fledgling democracy.

Today’s decision will finally pave way for the court to investigate whether the EC validly declared Mr. Mahama as President-elect in the December 7 and 8 general elections.

President Mahama who benefited from the EC’s declaration has since been sworn into office and is currently busily selecting his appointees to work with, at least, in the next four years.

Some legal experts have said that whether the NDC is allowed to join as respondent to the petition or not would not add or subtract anything from the substantive issues before the highest court of the land.

Others are also of the view that the NDC is seeking to join as respondent just to delay the trial because President Mahama is already sworn in but the party has since denied this assertion.

The hearing of the petition delayed because of objection raised by the NPP legal team on the composition of the nine-member panel chaired by Justice William Atuguba to hear the NDC’s application for joinder.

The case was put to rest when the NPP rescinded its objection.

The court action was initiated on December 28, 2012 by the NPP presidential candidate Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, his running mate Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia and the party’s Chairman Jake Otanka Obetsebi-Lamptey as the petitioners.

President Mahama, in his personal capacity as presidential candidate of the NDC and the EC, the body that supervised the December general elections have been cited as respondents in the case.

The Petitioners are praying the court to declare that “John Dramani Mahama was not validly elected president of the Republic of Ghana.”

They also want the court to declare that “Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, the 1st Petitioner herein, rather was validly elected President of the Republic of Ghana,” as well as “Consequential orders as to this court may deem fit.”

The petitioners said Nana Akufo-Addo’s votes were unlawfully reduced while President Mahama’s were illegally padded.

They said the irregularities were deliberate, well calculated and executed between John Mahama and the EC, leading to illegal votes of 1,342,845.

Apart from Justice Atuguba, the other panel members hearing the NDC application for joinder included Justices Julius Ansah, Sophia O. Adinyira, Rose C. Owusu, Jones Victor Dotse, Anin-Yeboah, Paul Baffoe-Bonnie, Sule N. Gbadegbe and Vida Akoto-Bamfo.

Police Warning
In a related development, the Greater Accra Regional Police Command has warned the public not to attempt to come to the court’s premises with offensive weapons including canes.

The ruling party’s supporters were bussed to the court at the last sitting where they whipped perceived opposition supporter in the full glare of the police.
They looked unconcerned and were criticized for their inaction but they have vowed to deal with perpetrators this time around.

Greater Accra Police Public Relations Officer DSP Freeman Tettey assured the public on Joy FM that “what happened the other day will not reoccur” and that the police will extend their security coverage within and around the courts. 

“Anybody, any group of persons who might gather there must be questioned and if possible no gathering (there),” so that people can use the road smoothly, he added.

“Anybody who wields a cane or any offensive weapon will be arrested immediately, because we are not going to renege on our commitment to ensure that there is total security in the area.”