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ELECTION PETITION: Mahama’s application for “Stay of Proceedings” unmeritorious – Akufo-Addo

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Second Respondent (President Akufo-Addo) in the election 2020 petition filed at the Supreme Court by the flagbearer of the National Democratic Congress (NDC) John Mahama (Petitioner), says the application by the Petitioner seeking to stop proceedings pending the determination of his review application on his dismissed interrogatories application is unmeritorious and a clear tactic of the Petitioner to get the Apex Court to breach C.I. 99.

In an affidavit in opposition filed on Friday, 22nd January 2021, to the motion for stay of proceedings filed by lawyers of John Mahama on the 21st of January 2021, the 2nd Respondent (Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo), says there is no merit whatsoever in the application for stay of proceedings, as the interrogatories that the Petitioner sought to serve on the 1st Respondent (EC) were either totally irrelevant to the determination of the Petition or not in respect of issues in controversy arising from the applicants (Petitioner) own pleadings in the petition as filed.

“The interrogatories sought to be served on 1st Respondent are “fishing interrogatories” and the Supreme Court rightly dismissed same. The application for review has absolutely no chance of success and can therefore hardly be a basis for seeking to stay proceedings in this Court pending the disposal of same” the affidavit in opposition deposed to by lawyer Kwaku Asirifi, member of the legal team of President Akufo-Addo stated.

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Click on the link below to read the full text of the Affidavit in Opposition

ELECTION PETITION, 2nd Respondents Affidavit in Opposition to Stay of Proceedings

Affidavit in Opposition

President Akufo-Addo’s affidavit in opposition further noted that if the Petitioner were diligent and not indolent, he should have “filled his unmeritorious request to admit facts and to inspect documents as soon as he was served with Respondents answers on 9th January 2021”.

“If the Petitioner had acted as any diligent party would have done, the timelines set under C. I. 99 would not have been stampeded and pre-trial matters would have been completed latest by 16th January 2021, and even if the Court were minded to grant an extra day, hearing of the petition should have commenced on the 18th of January 2021″. If is untenable for Petitioner having filed his petition as far back as 30th December 2020, to claim on 20th January 2021, that he is unable to file Witness Statements without 1st Respondent’s response to his request to admit facts, interrogatories and notice to inspect documents. Indeed, the substance of the Petitioner’s witness statements should have been known to him prior to filing the petition” the 2nd Respondent’s affidavit further stated.

“In the event, this Honourable Court ought to dismiss the application as unmeritorious and calculated to stall the hearing of a Petition that he himself has initiated” the deponent of the affidavit stated in conclusion.

Background

Former President John Mahama’s lawyer, Tsatsu Tsikata, when proceedings started in court 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.

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Ex-President Mahama 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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