Judgment Day: Supreme Court Delivers Final Verdict On Election Petition

Special Report William Atuguba
William Atuguba

Today will forever be marked as a historic day in the life of this country. The nine justices of the Supreme Court will put the country on a different pedestal when they will give their final judgement in a battle which started eight months ago.

It all started on December 28, 2012, when Nana Akufo-Addo, flagbearer of the New Patriotic Party (NPP); his running mate, Dr Mahamadu Bawumia, and the National Chairman of the NPP, Mr Jake Obetsebi-Lamptey (Petitioners), filed a petition under Article 64 of the 1992 Constitution; Section 5 of the Presidential Election Act, 1992 (PNDCL 285) and Rule 68 and 68 A of the Supreme Court (Amendment) Rules 2012, CI 74, challenging the election of President John Dramani Mahama.

The petitioners led by Lawyer Philip Addison, requested that 3,931,339 of votes be annulled because there were violations and malpractices at 10,119 polling stations in the country.

However, President Mahama represented by lawyer Tony Lithur insists that they won the Presidential elections and that it was free and transparent; no violations, irregularities or malpractices.

The nine Justices: Justices William Atuguba, Julius Ansah, Sophia Adinyira, Rose Constance Owusu, Jones Victor Dotse, Anin Yeboah, Paul Baffoe-Bonnie, N. S. Gbadegbe and Vida Akoto-Bamfo will today determine whether or not there were statutory violations, irregularities, commissions and malpractices in the December 7 and 8, 2012 presidential poll and whether they (violations, irregularities, omissions and malpractices) can affect the outcome of the election.

Three things involved
The court could either declare Nana Akufo-Addo the winner of the polls or order for a re-run of the election at affected polling stations or state that even if those 'invalid' votes (if any) are to be annulled they are not enough to affect the outcome of the presidential poll, hence affirm the EC's declaration of President Mahama as the winner of the December 2012 Presidential election.

The Ghana Police administration has indicated that measures have already been put in place and preparations are far advanced for the ruling.

They have deployed more than 30,000 personnel across the country to maintain law and order. The roads leading to the Supreme Court have been blocked to non-accredited persons, while only accredited persons will be allowed entry into the Supreme Court.

DSP Cephas Arthur, PRO of the Police Service in an interview on PEACE FM indicated that the police force is ready and poised for today. He said there are police personnel all over the streets of Accra as well as other regions and districts to ensure security and peace in the country during and after the final verdict is declared.

'We are fully aware of the responsibility that lies on us and we believe that Ghanaians will do their best to respect security arrangements that has been put in place and abide by the law. The police have been psyched and given the requisite training to ensure that they maintain peace and protect life and property. We don't want to create panic or intimidate anybody...each and everyone should go about their normal activities' he indicated.

Mood of respondentswaiting with baited breath
Lawyer Abraham Amaliba, A member of the National Democratic Congress's (NDC's) legal team, speaking on behalf of the respondents in an interview on Citi Eye witness news indicated that 'they are waiting with baited breath'.

'It is going to be a historic day in the lives of the people of Ghana. Ghanaians are waiting with baited breath. We are also waiting with our hands crossed. As lawyers we have fought our battle and now waiting for the verdict - we shall go into the court room with our chest out hoping that the day will be ours. We are still firm in our conviction that the petitioners don't have a case and so we will go and hear what the Justices have for us and that will be justice. Our expectation is that the justices will give a ruling which will reflect the fact of the case and take into consideration the national interest' he stated.

Mood of Petitioners
Deputy Communications Director of the New Patriotic Party (NPP), lawyer Yaw Buabeng Asamoah, speaking on behalf of the petitioners was also hopeful that things will be in their favour.

'We expect the best. We expect the court to do a good judicial job. We did our job and we expect the best' he indicated.