A former presidential hopeful of the National Democratic Congress and private legal practitioner, Elikplim Lorlormavor Agbemava, says the Election 2020 petition filed by the defeated flagbearer of the NDC, John Dramani Mahama, is bound to fail, as the ongoing case has not exposed any vulnerabilities in President Akufo-Addo’s victory.
In a Facebook post, the outspoken lawyer said the ongoing trial before a seven-member panel of judges at the Supreme Court has not produced any concrete evidence so far that could change the declared outcome of the presidential and parliamentary elections held on 7 December 2020.
“It is an open secret that the petition has not exposed the vulnerabilities of the so-called declaration of the 2nd Respondent [President Akufo-Addo] by the 1st Respondent [the Electoral Commission of Ghana] as the winner. Hence the theatrics and media circus that all parties are treating the general public to. Let us move on,” Agbemava wrote on his Facebook wall.
“I wish to announce that after much soul-searching, prayer and consultations with well-meaning Ghanaians, loved ones and family, I have decided to abate my push for the presidency come 2020 and throw my weight behind His Excellency John D Mahama,” said Agbemava in his 2018 press statement.
“I know this is very much unexpected. However, there is much wisdom in taking this decision. It is also in line with the majority of the views in our great party that he is the best person to lead us into battle come 2020.”
On 19 January 2020, John Mahama’s lead lawyer, Tsatsu Tsikata, moved a motion praying the court for leave to serve certain questions on the Electoral Commission (his application for interrogatories). He claimed that the questions, if answered, would narrow down the issues before the court.
In the application, the former president asked the EC to answer questions relating, among other things, to the processes involved in transmitting results from polling station level to constituency level, to regional offices of the EC and subsequently to the returning officer for the presidential election, Jean Mensa, at the EC’s head office in Accra.
He also sought responses on whether or not the National Communications Authority (NCA) in any way facilitated the transmission of results from the various centres to the EC’s national headquarters.
The EC opposed the application, acting through its lawyer, Justin Amenuvor, and urging the court not to grant the application because 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, reconvened and ruled that the petitioner’s application for interrogatories was not grounded in law and that it contravened CI 99 (the set of rules governing the adjudication of the election petition). The election petition, the court stressed, is the main issue before the court.
The application was dismissed in a ruling given by the Chief Justice on 19 January 2021.