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2020 election petition: EC files motion for early hearing of Mahama’s “review application”

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Lawyers of the Electoral Commission of Ghana (EC) have filed an application at the Supreme Court seeking an abridgment of the time for the hearing of a review application initiated by John Mahama in the ongoing election 2020 petition.

The review application of the Petitioner (John Mahama), is essentially praying the Supreme Court to take a second look at its ruling that dismissed the Petitioner application to serve interrogatories in the first respondent in the case (EC).In the affidavit of the EC deposed to by Hope Agboado, a lawyer at the firm representing the EC in Court, the EC maintains that “the sole purpose for the steps it is taking in this matter is to facilitate an expeditious trial”.

“The return date for hearing the motion on notice for review is 28th January, 2021 and the Applicant herein to whose benefit the time was to run its full course wish to have same abridge to 26th January, 2021” the affidavit stated.

Click on the link below to read the full abridgement of time Application by lawyers of the EC

Mahama v EC – Notice for abridgement of time

 

“The abridgment of time is necessary for a speedy determination of the motion on notice for review and any further order(s) this Honourable Court may deem fit. In the circumstances, I respectfully pray that in the interest of justice and speedy determination of this matter, and in line with the timelines of CI 99 the hearing date for the motion on notice for review be abridged to the 26th January, 2021 subject to the convenience of the Court” the EC’s affidavit further noted.

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Background

Former President John Mahama’s lawyer, on the 19th of January 2020, moved a motion praying the court for leave to serve certain questions on the Electoral Commission (Application for Interrogatories) which he claims if answered would narrow down the issues before the court.

The Ex-President in the application wanted the EC to answer among others, questions relating to the processes involved in the transmission of results from the polling station level, to the constituency level, to the regional offices of the EC and subsequently to the Returning Officer of the presidential election, Mrs. Jean Mensa, at the EC office. He also sought to solicit responses on whether or not the National Communications Authority (NCA) in any way facilitated the transmission of results from the various centres to the national Headquarters of the EC.

The EC through its lawyer, Justin Amenuvor, opposed the application urging the court not to grant the application as it does not raise any relevant issues that are in contention. It was the case of the EC that the answers being sought by the petitioner are already contained in their own petition and the responses of the respondents.

The court after going on recess for about 45 minutes reconstituted and ruled that the application for interrogatories by the Petitioner were not grounded in law and that same is in contravention of the rules that are governing the adjudication of the election petition (CI 99) which is the main issue before the court. “The application is hereby dismissed,” the Chief Justice ruled on the 19th of January 2021.

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