The 9-member panel of Supreme court of Ghana, who sat on the just-ended presidential election petition of 28th December 2012, has by unanimous decision ruled that the incumbent President John Dramani Mahama of the ruling National Democratic Congress (NDC), was validly elected and declared president of the Republic of Ghana in the presidential poll of 7th and 8th December 2012.
In reading the verdict dismissing the petitioners’ claim, the presiding judge Justice William Atuguba said: “Well, this is the decision we have arrived at:
“Upon a scrutiny of the petition, we found that the issues to be determined are as set out at page 125 of the counsel for the petitioners’ written address were as follows:
1. Over voting;
2. Voting without biometric verification;
3. Absence of the signature of the presiding officer;
4. Duplicate serial numbers, that is to say occurrence of the same serial numbers on pink sheets for two different polling stations;
5. Duplicate polling station codes, that is to say occurrence of different results of pink sheets for polling stations with the same polling station codes;
6. Unknown polling stations, that is to say results recorded for polling stations that are not part of 26,002 polling stations provided by the second respondent in the petition.
“We unanimously dismiss the claims relating to duplicate serial numbers, duplicate polling station codes, and unknown polling stations, that is for short.
“Atuguba, Adinyira, Baffoe-Bonnie, Gbadegbe, and Akoto-Bamfo, dismiss the claim of over voting.
“Atuguba, Adinyira, Baffoe-Bonnie, Gbadegbe, Akoto-Bamfo, dismiss the claims relating to absence of signature of presiding officer.
“Atuguba, Adinyira, Dotsey, Baffoe-Bonnie, Gbadegbe, Akoto-Bamfo dismiss the claim relating to voting without biometric verification
“Ansah, Owusu and Anim Yeboah grant all the three claims, that is to say, over voting, absence of presiding officers’ signature and voting without biometric verification, annul the votes involved and order a rerun of the affected areas
“Dotsey JSC grants the claim of over-voting but has provided a road-map in his judgement as in the figures of votes to be ascertained and cancelled and a re-run of the areas affected
“Dotsey JSC upholds the claim relating to absence of presiding officers’ signatures on the pink sheets cancels the results concerned and orders a rerun of the areas affected
“Baffoe-Bonnie JSC grants the claim of voting without biometric verification cancels the votes involved and orders a rerun of the areas affected
“In the circumstances the overall effect is that the first respondent was validly elected and the petition is therefore dismissed.
“Our various judgements for the sake of convenience are handed over to the registrar of this court
“We highly commend the services of KPMG, the referee appointed to undertake the count of the pink sheet and also the counsels on all sides of this case.
“That is our judgement.”
In his concession speech delivered minutes after the celebrated verdict; Nana Addo-Dankwa Akufo-Addo, the defeated 2012 New Patriotic Party (NPP) flag-bearer and the leader of the presidential election petition, had told the NPP faithful at their national headquarters in Accra that though he disagreed with unanimous of the highest court of the country, he respects and accepts the decision. And that for the sake country and goodwill, his party shall not embark on any review of the ruling.
“This is time for us to come together and work to find solutions to the challenges that confront our people,” said Nana Akufo-Addo, who hinted that he will be taking some time off from active politics so as to reflect on his political future that as he seemed to suggests, the decision, might not be long.
Many are those who still ponder over on whether or not Nana Akufo-Addo, having lost two consecutive presidential elections, might again, avail himself for presidential candidacy of the NPP. He advises the NPP followers to console themselves with the fact that all is not lost and that following the outcome of this case, presidential elections in Ghana, as a panel member of the 9 justices had recognized, is not going to be the same. He therefore, it seems, preaches for party unity.
But minutes after the fall of the justice hammer, the vice-president of the republic- Paa Kwesi Bekoe Amissah-Arthur, told reporters waiting at the Flagstaff House that “I‘ve never doubted that this will be the outcome…I ‘m surprised that it wasn’t 9-0 9-0 throughout”. The vice-president thinks that right from the word go, the petitioners had had no credible evidence to back their numerous claims.
The NDC Counsel Tsatsu Tsikata, had told journalists just after the verdict that the end-effect of this presidential election petition is that incumbent president John Dramani Mahama, was validly elected as president of the Republic of Ghana, on the 7th and 8th December 2012.
This supported by the overall out of the a judgment which came a few minutes to 1.00pm and lasted for about 8-9 minutes, where the presiding judge Justice William Atuguba emphasised that although some of the petitioners’ claims were upheld by individual justices who sat on the 49-day hearing, the combine effect of their collective opinions is that the petition is dismissed.
Although JusticeGhana had had no opportunity in reading in full the reasons behind this historical case, it might be of interest to highlight that whereas Justices Atuguba, Adinyira, Gbadegbe, Akoto-Bamfo had been consistent with their opinions in dismissing fast everything of the petitioners, pleas, interestingly, Justices Ansah, Owusu and Anim Yeboah, grant all the fundamental claims of the NPP.
The coming days shall be indeed, exciting, as the official transcript throws light on the legal efficacies of the judicial decisions. JusticeGhana shall certainly, be part of this brain-storming exercise.