The 2020 Ghanaian general elections may be done yet it remains far from being dusted. Following a rather bizarre period that was characterized by a lot of pointing of accusing fingers by the opposition National Democratic Congress, the party has finally gone to court to seek redress for their grievances.
The 2020 flag bearer of the NDC, former President John Dramani Mahama filed a petition at Ghana’s superior court of adjudicature, challenging the validity of the election of the New Patriotic Party’s Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo Addo as the president of the Republic of Ghana for a second term.
The petition which was initially riddled with a barrage of errors was revised and resubmitted after John Dramani Mahama obtained the permission of the court. As the case proceeds, the NDC’s case which was initially labeled as weak by critics is gradually gaining momentum and winning a lot of souls on social media.
The New Patriotic Party, the party that won the 2020 presidential race has therefore been left wanting as the ‘Law faculty’; lawyer Tsatsu Tsikata lectures the Ghanaian people on the law. Article 64, Clause 1 of Ghana’s 1992 constitution states that:
‘The validity of the election of the president may be challenged only by a citizen of Ghana who may present a petition for the purpose to the Supreme Court within twenty-one days after the declaration of the result of the election in respect of which the petition is presented.’
However, the New Patriotic Party will be looking to nip the NDC’s case in the bud in court before a political tsunami hits them. Below are 5 simple questions that will punch holes in the petitioner’s case as he will find them very difficult to answer.
Per your own calculations, did you win the 2020 presidential elections?
This question despite the outright simplicity it displays will go unanswered by the petitioner. Firstly, the petitioner’s lawyers will object and try to do some legal gymnastics but their objection will likely be overruled as this is a valid question.
Former President John Dramani Mahama is too smart to answer the question with a ‘no’ since that will discredit his petition. He is also too careful to answer with a ‘yes’ since that will be followed with questions about why he did not petition the court that he had won the elections. The former president will therefore be left hanging in court.
Can you furnish the court with the most accurate results from every polling station in Ghana including the disputed ones?
This question will definitely precede a moment of deafening silence. If the former president answers in the affirmative, he will have to explain how he and his party got results that are contrary to what the electoral commission had gazetted and a “no” answer will see his case ridiculed by the New Patriotic Party’s legal team.
The petitioner will therefore have to pray for his lawyers to come to the party in style should the respondents try to subject him to the herculean task of answering this question.
Do you have any personal grudge against the person of the commissioner of the electoral commission; Madam Jean Adukwei Mensa?
The petitioner will definitely respond to this question with an emphatic ‘no’. However, lawyers for both respondents will try every possible trick in and outside the book to demonstrate that the petitioner had been hostile towards the Chairperson of the electoral commission of Ghana in the past. If the lawyers are able to demonstrate that the petitioner has a personal grudge against Madam Jean Mensa, the case will be considered a vendetta against the office of the chairperson of the electoral commission due to a longstanding grudge against the chairperson’s person. On the other hand, the petitioner can not affirm having a grudge since that will result in an outright destruction of his case.
Should the court rule in favor of your petition, can you trust the electoral commission to conduct the run off elections that you seek?
The petitioner will have divided thoughts if this question is asked. If his answer is a yes, he will be queried as to why he had display mistrust for the electoral commission in the past and if he says ‘no’, his belief in the constitution and institutions of Ghana will become questionable. He may be tempted to state that he does not trust Madam Jean Mensa to lead the electoral commission in the future. However, any such statement will prove that his case is a mere vendetta against the chairperson of the electoral commission of Ghana.
It is important to note however that despite the depth beneath these questions, the former president is being represented by some of the finest lawyers the country can boast of and this will not be a walk in the park for the lawyers of the respondents.
Do you think former president Mahama will win this case in court?