Frank Davies, a legal team member of President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, 2nd Respondent, in the 2020 election petition case, is of the view the decision by Justices of the Supreme to give lawyers of the petitioner, John Dramani Mahama another chance to file their witness statements was a very lenient one.
He said, the highest court of the land is a “very busy place for really hard and serious legal work” thus it comes as a surprise that the petitioners were given an opportunity once more to file the statements after failing to do so as earlier instructed.
According to Frank Davies, “the court has been gracious and very lenient to the petitioner because he has been given another opportunity to correct the wrong”.
The petitioner has been ordered to file his witness statements by close of day tomorrow Wednesday, January 27, 2021 or have the case dismissed.
This was after Mr. Mahama failed to comply with an earlier directive issued last week to file the processes by January 21, 2021, to enable hearing of the substantive matter commenced today [January 26, 2021].
But Mr. Davies said, despite the unexpected decision by the court, his side is ready to face the petitioners squarely during the next adjournment on Thursday, January 28.
“We are all legal practitioners, the Supreme Court is a very busy place. The Supreme Court is not the forum for organized, rehearsed and choreographed theatricals and drama. It is a place for real hard and serious legal work. It is not for flying of literature and dull English devoid of any legal merit. I want to advise my colleagues from the other side that if it hasn’t been broken, don’t attempt to fix it. We are ready for them on Thursday”, he stated.
Ayine bares teeth with Frank Davies
Reiterating the impact the leave for interrogatories on the Electoral Commission [1st Respondent] will have on the nature of the kind of witness statements will be filed, not filing the statements as earlier directed for him was not “out of disrespect for the court”, he explained.
One of the spokespersons of Mr. Mahama’s legal team, Dr. Dominic Ayine also took exception to comments by Frank Davies, a member of President Akufo-Addo’s legal team who accused the petitioners of using “theatricals” to delay the hearing of the substantive matter.
“I want to record our disappointment with respect to the language used this morning by a senior member of the bar and former President of the Greater Accra Regional, Mr Frank Davies. The language that he employed this morning is unacceptable in describing the actions of the petitioner’s lawyers as theatricals, in describing us as persons who intend to be intransigent and disobedient to the orders of the court”, he fumed.
Petition not empty
Commenting further on proceedings so far, Dr. Ayine disagreed with assertions by the New Patriotic Party (NPP) that John Mahama’s petition was “frivolous and vexatious”.
“The impression being created by the NPP is that we came to court with a frivolous and empty petition, and we are just seeking to engage in theatricals so that the petition will not be heard. HE John Dramani Mahama is far from being such a person.”
He added their legal team will not create room for the petition they have filed at the Supreme Court to be struck out and will therefore comply and file their witness statements by close of Wednesday, January 27, 2021, as instructed by the apex court.
“We are prepared, the witness statements will be filed with all its exhibits by close of day tomorrow. We are fully aware of the consequences of rule 79 of the Supreme Court rules. It is a rule that cuts across from the district court all the way to the Supreme Court and as lawyers, we are very much aware that if you fail to take a step ordered by the court, the court within its jurisdiction and power can dismiss your application of the case that you have brought. So we are very much aware of it, but we don’t intend to bring about a situation that will trigger the application of rule 79. The witness statements will accordingly be filed tomorrow, and I am very sure that the public will have copies of the witness statements”, he said.