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09.03.2013 General News

Akufo-Addo Asks For Direction

By Daily Guide
Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-AddoNana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo
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Three leading members of the opposition New Patriotic Party (NPP) who are challenging the validity of the Electoral Commission's (EC) declaration of John Dramani Mahama as President in the December 7 and 8, 2012 general elections have filed an application for directions regarding the petition they filed.

NPP presidential candidate Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, his running mate Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia and the party's Chairman Jake Otanka Obetsebi-Lamptey, want the court to set down the issues for trial as soon as possible.

Memorandum of Issues
In the Supreme Court, the process filed by the petitioners is normally referred to as setting out memorandum of issues.

The application for directions was prepared at Kwakwaduam Chambers in Accra and filed on March 4, 2013, and it has a return date of March 14, 2013 as the day for hearing.

Per the latest development, the Supreme Court is expected to sit for long hours on March 14, due to the fact that the court's registry has fixed a lot of preliminary applications in connection with the petition on the same date.

It will be recalled that about nine different groups of the ruling National Democratic Congress (NDC) supporters, making up 80 individuals, filed applications asking the Supreme Court to allow them to join the petition and the registry gave them a return date of March 14.

Issues For Determination
In the issues for determination, the petitioners want the court's position on 'whether or not there was a difference of 127,097 between the total number of registered voters declared for the parliamentary poll and the number of registered voters declared for the presidential poll by the 2 nd respondent (Electoral Commission) in the December 2012 elections.'

They want to know 'whether or not there was voting without prior verification at many polling stations across the country in the December 2012 presidential election,' and also 'whether or not the ballots cast without prior biometric verification were taken into account by the 2 nd respondent in the declaration of the result of the December 2012 presidential election.'

Furthermore, the petitioners want to know 'whether or not there were widespread instances where different results were declared on the Statement of Poll and Declaration of Results for the Office of President ('Pink Sheets') bearing the same polling station codes,' and 'whether or not all polling stations in the December 2012 presidential election polls had unique codes'.

They want to know 'whether or not there were widespread instances where the Presiding Officer or his/her assistant did not sign the Statement of Poll and Declaration of Results for the Office of President ('Pink Sheets')' and also 'whether or not there were widespread instances where the total votes cast exceeded the number of ballot papers issued to voters at the polling stations in the December 2012 Presidential elections'.

The petitioners furthermore want to know whether there were widespread instances where the total number of votes cast at polling stations exceeded the total number of registered voters at those polling stations in the December 2012 presidential election.

They want the court to determine 'whether or not there were widespread instances where there were identical serial numbers on the Statement of Poll and Declaration of Results for the Office of President ('Pink Sheets') with different poll results in the December 2012 Presidential election'.

Again, the petitioners want the court to determine 'whether or not statutory violations, irregularities and/or malpractices apparent on the face of the Statement of Poll and Declaration of Results for the Office of President ('Pink Sheets') introduced 4,670,504 invalid votes into the total number of votes cast in the December 2012 presidential election'.

They want the court to determine 'whether or not there were 28 locations where voting took place which were not part of the officially sanctioned 26,002 polling stations created by the 2 nd respondent for the December 2012 presidential election'.

They want the court to determine 'whether or not the aggregate of instances of statutory and regulatory violations, irregularities and/or malpractices, affected the result of the December 2012 presidential election'.

The petitioners want the court to determine 'whether or not as a result of the statutory violations, irregularities and/or malpractices manifest on the Statement of Poll and Declaration of Results for the Office of President ('Pink Sheets') the votes thereon should be annulled'.

They further want the court to determine 'whether or not the 1 st respondent, John Dramani Mahama, was validly elected President of the Republic in the December 2012 presidential election,' and also 'whether or not the 1 st petitioner, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, was the validly elected President of the Republic in the December 2012 presidential election'.

They finally, want the court to determine whether they are entitled to the reliefs sought as well as 'any other issues borne out by the pleadings'.

Mode of Trial
In addition to setting out the issues, the petitioners want the trial 'to be conducted upon oral and documentary evidence,' and 'that the parties may adopt audio-visual aids in presentation of evidence.'

Also, they also want that 'at least one seven days before the trial, parties shall exchange documents to be relied upon either in hard or soft copy,' and also they want to set out that 'at least one seven days before the trial parties shall present a list of witnesses and a brief summary of the nature and relevance of each witness' testimony to enable the court determine its probative value'.

The petitioners also want the hearing of the petition to take only two months and also want the exhibits attached to the EC's amended answer be struck out.

By William Yaw Owusu
 
 

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