Mahama vrs Akufo-Addo: What happened at the Supreme Court on the first day of hearing

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Today, 14 January 2021, the Supreme Court sat for the very first time on the election petition lodged by the torch bearer of the National Democratic Congress (NDC), John Dramani Mahama.

A seven-member jury of peers led by the Chief Justice, Kwesi Aning Yeboah, presided the case. Gertrude Torkornoo, Samuel Marful-Sau, Nii Ashie Kotey, Mariama Owusu, and Nene Abayateye Ofoe Amegatcher were the other members of the party.

The first sitting was a brief one, specifically with two concerns to be discussed by the court.

First was a request for a live broadcast of the legal proceedings, and the second was a request submitted by the applicant, John Mahama, to reform in the initial trials before the Supreme Court.

The court approved the application for a televised event of the trials. Prof. Nii Kotey noticed that the court had already found the motion separately and made provisions for it. It thus concluded that, awaiting the considerations and arrangements of the court, the Election Petition case would be broadcast.

The second was Mr. Mahama’s petition to modify the petition, which included a number of mistakes, suggesting that the petition was for a re-run between the NDC candidate and the first respondent, the Electoral Commission.

The request for an alteration moved by Mr. Mahama’s Legal Counsel, Tsatsu Tsikata, was opposed by the Electoral Commission’s attorney, Justin Amenuvor, and Akufo-lawyers, Addo’s who protested that even the request for an amendment was riddled with mistakes.

A question from one of sitting justices who asked if they’d never made errors was the answer to this.

The judges then briefly retreated to consider the motion for change, after which they approved and granted it. This suggests that lawyers now have the go-ahead to make changes to the initiating procedures.

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