What Supreme Court should Tell The NPP

The Supreme Court of Ghana will soon deliver its judgment on an election petition filed by three leading members of Ghana's opposition New Patriotic Party (NPP). The petition is challenging the result of the December 7th and 8th presidential election in Ghana.

The Electoral Commission of Ghana (EC) had already declared President John Dramani Mahama winner of the Presidential election soon after ballots were counted, and the President has been in office since January 2013.

The court ruling will follow months of hearings and testimonies from both petitioners and the respondents in the case. Hearing was make public and aired on National Television stations. The court had also received written and oral addresses from all the parties involved in the case.

The decision will have far reaching implication on Ghana's democracy, security, and the integrity of the Supreme Court. Whether or not the parties involved in the case accept the court's decision is another matter.

But the decision will send a clear signal as to where the Supreme Court would want to be situated on election matters in the country. It is very unclear whether the court has the authority to accept the calculations of political parties, with all the conflict of interest, against what the constitutionally mandated Electoral Commission had earlier declared.

The NPP petitioners did not miss words in their demands of the court. They are seeking the court to annul the results of the December 2012 presidential election and declare their candidate, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo Addo, winner contrary to what the EC had declared earlier.

The respondents in the case; the EC, President John Dramani Mahama, and his party the ruling National Democratic Congress (NDC) are asking the court to dismiss NPP's claims as without merit and in bad faith.

If the court upholds the petitioners pleadings, and goes ahead to annul the results of the election and declare that Nana Akufo Addo, and not John Dramani Mahama, won the December 2012 polls. It will be setting a precedent unheard of in the annals of election in modern democracy. The Court will also be opening the floodgates for any political party that loses miserable at the polls to come knocking at its doors with bundles of election returns receipt (pink sheet) asking the court to annul result on its bases.

The national security implications for such a floodgate opening cannot be over stated, and if care is not taken it could jeopardize democracy in Ghana. The economic implications are even worse. It has the potential to drive away foreign capital investment in the country because of the instability and constant leadership crisis.

The Supreme Court will also be putting itself at the heart of partisan politics. This will not auger well for the independence and impartiality of the court as cases of such nature have the potential to foster public perception of partiality on the part of Supreme Court.

Already, the independence of the Supreme Court of Ghana has been dragged in the mud since former President Kufour appointed Her Lordship Mrs. Justice Georgina wood Chief Justice. The family intertwines between members of the bench and leading politicians has been used by certain quarters to raise eyebrows. All this does not auger well for sanctity and integrity of the Supreme Court.

The Supreme Court of Ghana has another option. It could use this case to send a clear signal to political parties that it will not accept baseless cases that are of no merit or evidence. It could tell the NPP that it did not prove its case. All the NPP did was to wave pink sheet after pink sheet in the face of any witness that appeared before the court.

The NPP claimed it has evidence of over-voting, yet throughout the proceedings it did not lead a single witness in evidence to prove it. The petitioners led Dr. Bawumia, their sole witness, in evidence. His testimony fell very flat. It is doubtful whether the man had even read the Electoral Guidelines. At a point Dr. Bawumia contradicted the very reason NPP were in court. Lawyer for the NDC Mr. Tsikata asked Dr. Bawumia whether or not they were in court because they want to make the first petitioner (Nana Addo Danquah Akufo Addo) president. 'No,' Dr. Bawumia replied. 'We are in court because of irregularities, over voting, and voting without biometric verification,' he continued. As if he was reading from a comic book.

The petitioners also claimed some voters did not go through the biometric verification process; again it did not provide any evidence of it nor lead a witness in evidence of such. Again, Dr. Bawumia, NPP's sole witness was asked to prove voting without biometric verification. The NPP vice President Candidate claimed he was not at any polling station, and therefore unable prove that voting took place without biometric verification.

Whenever objections are raised on the petitioners' apparent lack of evidence, they point to the election returns receipt (pink sheet) as if it is the primary evidence or information on voting in Ghana. Pink Sheets are not votes, they are receipts issued to parties as records of the votes countred. A record can be wrong, and if wrong could be corrected by using the primary evidence, which is the ballots that were used at polling stations across the country to cast votes.

To all the NPP supporters out there, none of you was asked to appear before the court and testify that you saw vote counting where the total votes cast were more than the number of voters on the register. That is what the EC defines as over-voting. You also did not show up in court to say you saw someone vote without going through the biometric verification process. If your lawyers were that confident in you and your claims, don't you think they would have brought at least one of you forward to testify? They did not because you have no evidence of your claims.

The Supreme Court should tell the NPP that it has lost the elections. It should tell the NPP that its evidence did not pass the smell test. It should remind the NPP that the people of Ghana elect presidents, and that the Court does not install people as heads of state of Ghana.

The Supreme Court should also tell the NPP that C.Is are not provisions of the constitution. They become null and void if their provisions contravene articles of the 1992 Constitution of Ghana. It is clear that C.I 75, which the NPP cited as the reason for annulling votes that are not biometrically verified, is unconstitutional.

C.I. 75 is inconsistent with article 42 of the 1992 Constitution of Ghana, which defines the qualification of voters in the country. C.I 75 also added an additional burden on voting rights of Ghanaians. It prohibits Ghanaians from voting without being biometrically verified, an additional burden. The right to vote is not discretionary. It is a mandatory right.

No institution of state, including the Supreme Court, can deny a Ghanaian citizen who is of sound mind and has express his willing to exercise his voting right the opportunity to do so. Unless it can be proven that such a person fail to qualify under article 42 of the Constitution.

The NPP must also be reminded that sometimes it is better to offer goodwill toward others. May be if you did that your candidate will not fall off stage while campaigning in a presidential election.

Abdul Sidibe

Disclaimer: "The views expressed in this article are the sole responsibility of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Modern Ghana. The contents of this article are of sole responsibility of the author(s). Modern Ghana will not be responsible or liable for any inaccurate or incorrect statements contained in this article." © Abdul Musah Sidibe.

polis | 8/10/2013 1:59:00 PM
i have said it and will say it again that there is a party in ghana and its people have heads on top of their body but NO brians in the head.

they dont seem to see or hear what people with brians see or hear such people shouldf not be allowed to rule ghana we will surely end in the ditch..quess which party it is ,
nyb | 8/11/2013 3:38:00 PM
Nana K. Duah | 8/10/2013 2:02:00 PM
I don't know where you studied: Your analysis is less interlectual. Could you please go back to the classroom to learn how to argue your points out and make sensible submissions?
Dr Baah Mensah | 8/10/2013 2:19:00 PM
Whoever submitted this piece should as a matter of shame delete it as soon as possible because the author is very ignorant of what Ghanas constitution says about the conduct of elections. If he is then he has been blinded by his political affiliation- hence he cannot make any educated discussion of the SC case on the election petition. He seems to be throwing words here and there to make sense but his article is flawed in its entirety
People must stop just writing for the sake of writing without making any sense. If you have nothing better to write to inform and educate, l
think it will be better not to write at all to expose your ignorance.
Abdul Musah Sidibe | 8/10/2013 8:24:00 PM
Dr. Baah Mensah,
I thought I should reply to you. If you have any problems with the way I write, please state where you think the mistakes are, and stop making blanket statements.
I love write, as result I love people who point my mistakes out because I learn from. You did not include a single in the article that you think was grammatical or factional wrong. On even mistake.
This leads me to the conclusion that you just don't me as writer or don't like what I have written. For reason I conclude that you are nothing but big bigot.
You can't express good argument.
SLIM | 8/11/2013 12:43:00 PM
Abdul why do you disgrace we northerners like this ? You dont seem to have any se.nsible thing in your head. So if there is fraud, the court should just pay deaf ears to it just because you think it will not bring peace to ghana ? What then is the the role of the judges ? Are they there to serve your grandmother or to check and ensure there is justice in the country ?. Shame on you
oscar | 8/10/2013 4:01:00 PM
It is rather unfortunate that time and time again reputatable media communicators such this media platform allow certain form of publication such as the one above to appear as news for a 21century young Ghanaian to read. This type of issues leave us with lingering questions and kill softly our lust to read. Please editor in chief we are counting on you for sound, impartial, qualify and useful publication.
Thank you and long live Ghana and your reputable media
abdul sidibe | 8/10/2013 8:27:00 PM
You can't write for reputable media to publish, so please don't sensor others. State the problems you have with the piece and stop bigoted ranting.
AKORA OTENG | 8/10/2013 8:03:00 PM
You are not a Ghanaian and I have told you b4 that you stay away from Ghana politics. All that you have written shows your affiliation with the thieves of NDC. You should say something to the NDC and not our judges. They would none of your crap.
OKUKUSEKU | 8/11/2013 2:13:00 AM
This is the most constructive summation I have read since the election hearing began; SIDIBE , you are a true patriot and nationalist; I could not have said it better than this. GOD BLESS YOU
OKUKUSEKU | 8/11/2013 2:31:00 AM
Truth they say has no nationality. The premise on which you are trying to debunk the assertions made by Mr Sidibe is utterly subversive. The Social coup d' tat the NPP is trying to unleash on the Mahama presidency is tantamount to a military coup, only this time under the guise of a Supreme court hearing. The NPP pundits should educate their followers about democracy; DEMOCRACY IS GOOD WHEN IT IS SUMMONED WITH DIGNITY, BUT NOT INSULTED. TRUTH THEY SAY HURTS, ESPECIALLY WHEN IT DOES NOT MEET THE EXPECTATIONS OF A DREAMER. MAHAMA WON THE ELECTIONS FAIR AND SQUARE; THE PEOPLE SPOKE, THE PEOPLE LISTENED AND THE PEOPLE ARE LISTENING . STOP THE SOCIAL COUP D' TAT, AND DO NOT ALLOW THE MISDIRECTED AMBITIONS OF A MINORITY LEAD THE WHOLE COUNTRY ASTRAY. i HAVE LIVED LONG ENOUGH TO HAVE SEEN EVERY PRESIDENT IN GHANA SINCE INDEPENDENCE; I guess this also makes me a "non-Ghanaian." LONG LIVE GHANA & LONG LIVE MAHAMA
Ralph | 8/11/2013 4:16:00 PM
I think evidence does not only means you should bring some one to testify, but you can also use written documents to prove your case. That is what exactly NPP did and the Court asked them that.
Okukuseku No1,berlin | 8/11/2013 5:15:00 PM
You both have forgotten that the whole Episode was Globally, Telecast. It's for you to ,at least, pity and pray for the 9 Judges so as to boldly, come out with the Truth and only the True Verdict enhancing the already Tainted Democracy;of which Ghanaians are wading through currently____considering Wayome's Saga and Martin Amidu's part of the prevailing Judiciary Manipulations. All you've said are so Bogus and Faulty regarding references to 'C I's and other Constitutional Sections, quoted. What 's more ? Your complex Greek, if not Dagomba, so Ungrammatical that only Abdul and Okukuseku in the whole world, could comprehend------the npp vice president candidate claimed, he....____Now getting you in touch, take away the word....VICE and let's carry on------The Npp President Candidate......so Pathetic. Just give all your Burden in the bosom of the 9 Judges. You just cann't Persuade them Deeming your Favourite the winner and vice versa. Your Piece, is rather an Exhibition of words and ONLY Words like the Infamous Lawyer Tsikata. Mr Tsikata Roars just to entice his audience with a Melody without Lyrics.No one gonna dance to that Tune. the Justice, have Minds of their own.So do please Wait till the V date.All you need to do is telling your Tsikata that he 's got to pray to the S C. for fair Ruling and stop his Lies and Divert Baits aiming to entice the favour of the court.His Feeble Approach, won't wash. so long as he keeps on Deviating from special Definitions----Retroactive Penalty-----and the so called Exhibition of Words. Musah keep your fingers crossed till Nana comes; For you need the Free Education to buck-up your Standard in Education,at least Your Grammar. Good Day.
opanka | 8/11/2013 5:53:00 PM
You have said it all whether the Nonentities Pinksheets Party(NPP) likes it or not. Akuffo Addo has no law certificate to be our President. He has also reached his retirement age.
Adjei, Yaw | 8/11/2013 10:11:00 PM
oh, what a senseless presentation on arguments without analysing the points as suppose. Abdul come again get your facts rights.
abdul sidibe | 5/17/2014 5:37:00 AM
It came to past that the court did exactly what I pointed out so vividly in this piece. It dismissed NPP's case by 9-0, but disagreed on what should be done. A majority (5) judges decided on on side of the EC and NDC, and minority (4) said the election in the affected areas be annulled and fresh election held. None agreed with the NPP for outright cancellation of result. If you read what some of the justices wrote, it is as if some had read what I wrote month before their decision. I wish all my critics out there all the best of luck. oops that is if you still reading
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