Mad Rush To Join Nana Vrs Mahama In Court
There was near stampede at the Supreme Court registry on Friday as National Democratic Congress (NDC) members trooped in to file joinders in the case in which three New Patriotic Party (NPP) leaders, including the party's presidential candidate for the 2012 elections, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, are challenging the declaration of John Mahama as President.
At the last count, 18 individuals and groups, DAILY GUIDE learnt, were able to file by the close of Friday to join the case.
This is aside the 10 groups made up of 80 individuals who had earlier filed to join the case in an obvious attempt to delay the process.
DAILY GUIDE has learnt that more people are likely to storm the court in the latest craze to be part of the landmark case.
However, the nine-member panel presided over by Justice William Atuguba has to decide whether all the NDC members coming in, in the name of public interest, have locus in the case, as the Electoral Commission is representing all voters in the process.
Other members of the panel are Justices Sophia O. Adinyira, Julius Ansah, Rose C. Owusu, Annin Yeboah, Jones Dotse, Paul Baffoe-Bonnie, Sule Gbadegbe and Vida Akoto-Bamfo.
The court has fixed March 14, 2013, to hear all the motions in order to set the date for hearing the petition.
The NPP presidential candidate, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, his running mate Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia and the party's National chairman, Jake Otanka Obetsebi-Lamptey are the petitioners in the case.
They have petitioned the court to investigate the results declared in 11,916 polling stations, stressing that they have evidence of irregularities and malpractices in those polling stations which could nullify the votes in those polling stations.
The Electoral Commission (EC) and President John Dramani Mahama are the respondents.
Nine different groups of NDC supporters, making up 80 individuals, have filed applications asking the Supreme Court to allow them to join the petition.
The joinder applications by the NDC supporters are seen as a ploy to delay the court process.
If the Supreme Court allows them to join, the progress made so far in the case would be grounded to allow the applicants to file their answers to the petition and therefore open the floodgate for more people to join.
Interestingly, the joinder applications are coming after the petitioners had furnished the respondents with “further and better particulars” of their case in which they indicated the polling stations where the alleged irregularities took place.
All the initial applications have the stamps of Urafiki Law Consult, Ghana Commercial Bank Main, 1st Floor, Near Meridian Hotel, Tema and this shows that they were all prepared from that chamber.
In fact, a cursory look at all the applications would show that they are initiating the action after the petitioners were made to provide details of all the polling stations where they claim irregularities or malpractices occurred.
All the applications state, “We are surprised to hear that the petitioners have in the present petition identified our polling station as one of those whose entire results should be annulled by the Honourable Court on grounds stated in the said petition.”
Strangely, the applicants who are coming from different regions of the country have the same averments in their affidavits in support of the motions for joinder and they also have the same addresses as group members.
The first group (10 individuals) to file the motion has one Dusime David of Kaneshie Gadakope in the Awutu Senya East Constituency in the Central Region as deponent.
All the group members have a similar address and the deposition was made at Kasoa on February 25, 2013 before a Commissioner of Oaths called ASP (Rtd) W.E. Domie and they cite B111204 as their polling station code.
In the case of the second group (10 individuals), the deponent is William Kofi Asante of Apeguso in the Asuagyaman Constituency of the Eastern Region on February 28, 2013. The deposition was made before M.K. Agbomadzi, a Commissioner of Oaths in Koforidua on February 28, 2013. They cite E011503 as their polling station code.
The third application (10 individuals) was deposed to by one Simon A. Mumuni of Sogashei in the Sagnarigu Constituency in the Northern Region. They cite H200903 as their polling station code and the application deposed to before a Commissioner of Oaths at the Tamale District Magistrate Court.
The next application is that of a group of seven people led by one Gameli Dosoo of Kasoa in the Awutu Senya East Constituency as the deponent.
They cite B110706 as their polling station and have ASP (Rtd) W.E. Domie as their Commissioner of Oaths.
As regards the fifth group of four individuals, one Patrick Kofi Mensah of Agavenya in the Yilo Krobo Constituency is the deponent. They cite E040901 as their polling station code and the deposition is certified in Koforidua by M.K. Agbomadzi, a Commissioner of Oaths on February 28, 2013.
The sixth application has 10 individuals led by one Alhassan Baba of Zgyuri in the Sagnarigu Constituency in the Northern Region. They cite H201102 as their polling station code and their deposition on February 27, 2013 is certified by the Commissioner for Oaths at Tamale Magistrate Court.
In the next application of 10 individuals, one Iddrisu Mohammed of Dungu in the Sagnarigu Constituency in the Northern Region is the deponent. They cite H200902 as their polling station code and the deposition on February 27, 2013, was supervised by the Commissioner of Oaths at Tamale Magistrate Court.
The final application, made by nine individuals, was deposed to by one Stephen Ametepey of Adam Nana in the Awutu Senya East Constituency of the Central Region. They cite B110801 as their polling station code and their deposition, without any date, was supervised by ASP (Rtd) W.E. Domie, a Commissioner of Oaths at Kasoa.
They have all attached photocopies of their voter identity cards as exhibits and they all appear to provide a tally of the results recorded in the presidential ballot in their various polling stations.
Their lines of argument appear similar to what the 1st respondent (President John Dramani Mahama) and 3rd respondent,(National Democratic Congress – NDC) cited in the main petition filed as their answers.
They are claiming that there were no protests by any of the contesting political parties when the results were declared and added that the processes were so “transparent and compliant that after the declaration of the results, there was no dispute about the winner; and we all accepted the results as true and binding on us in the said polling station.
“As voters who had lawfully exercised their franchise, we say that we are directly interested in the outcome of the petition. We also wish to protect our validly cast votes, based on which the results of the Presidential elections were held.”
They said that since the petitioners are seeking to annul some votes, the court should allow them to join the case to protect their votes.
“We would suffer irreparable hardship if our votes were cancelled, in that we would have been denied our constitutional right to be part of the decision making process of the country, a right which, we are advised by counsel, is guaranteed by the 1992 Constitution and is inalienable and which cannot be compensated in anyway whatsoever.”