The National Democratic Congress is expected to file a suit at the Supreme Court today, December 30, 2020, over the outcome of the 2020 Presidential polls.
This is after the National Executive Council of the party gave its approval for the party to challenge the result announced and gazetted by Electoral Commission.
However, Article 64(1) of the Constitution provides 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”.
This article as interpreted by the Supreme Court in the Election Manual “envisages that a petition, challenging the validity of the election of the president, may be commenced by the person who had been declared by the electoral commission as the losing presidential candidate. In other words, the election may be challenged only by the person who alleges that he was the winner at the election”.
Paul Adom-Otchere, the host of Good Evening Ghana has deduced this to mean that only John Mahama, the flagbearer of the National Democratic Congress can petition the Supreme Court over the result.
If that be the case, the NDC as party will unlike the 2012 Election petition be left out of the proceedings with the former president expected to face cross-examination.
Adom-Otchere is, however, not sure John Mahama and the NDC will allow that to happen and thus will challenge the Supreme Court’s interpretation of Article 64(1).
In the event that the NDC succeeds in their bid to have the party and other officials join the petition, Adom Otchere predicts that General Secretary Johnson Asiedu Nketia and Minority Leader Haruna Iddrisu will be the second and third petitioners respectively.
He does not expect Mahama, the first petitioner to avail himself for interrogation just as Nana Akufo-Addo did in 2016.
“In the last presidential election petition, three people filed as the petitioners. Nana Akufo-Addo as the first petitioner, Bawumia as the second and Jake Obetsebi Lamptey as the third. But now the Supreme Court is saying that per their understanding of Article 64(1), only John Dramani Mahama can file the petition because it is only him who is alleging that he is the winner of the elections. I think the NDC are going to make a case that Article 64(1) says a citizen of Ghana and they are going to challenge the conclusions of the Supreme Court”, he said.
“If Mahama does not want to do it, Johnson Asiedu Nketia is going to enter the witness box. If for some reason, people think John Dramani Mahama being the former president should not be subjected to the rigours of courtroom banter with lawyers, they might elect Asiedu Nketia to be the petitioner. In that case, the Supreme Court will interrogate and decide to change their position. If Asiedu Nketia doesn’t do it, Haruna Iddrisu will be the one. He has been at the forefront of this exercise by the NDC that the election was somehow rigged and that there was cheating so he must be well abreast with the data”, he said on his show.