The General Secretary for the largest opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC), Johnson Asiedu Nketia has officially on Tuesday, 29th December 2020 issued a statement that his party will go to the Supreme Court to contest the results of the recently-conducted general elections.
The National Executive Committee of the National Democratic Congress (NDC) in a meeting at the Ghana National Association Teachers (GNAT) Hall has decided to challenge the results of December 7, 2020 polls they consider to be “rigged” in the Supreme Court.
In a statement signed by the NDC Chief Scribe, the party will in addition contest the “rigged” election results in other appropriate fora.
The statement again read that the NDC will continue all legitimate actions, including protestations, to press home its demands for the government of President Akufo-Addo to enforce the rule of law and protect life and property in Ghana.
“In addition, the party will continue all legitimate actions, including protestations, to press home its demands for the government of President Akufo-Addo to enforce the rule of law and protect life and property in Ghana and, in particular, to take all necessary measures to bring to swift justice those responsible for the murders and injuries and destruction of properties before, during and in the aftermath of the general election,” the statement read.
“The NDC’s commitment to the upholding of the constitution and respect for human rights shall remain unshaken,” the statement adds.
When will the petition be filed?
It is not clear when the NDC will file its petition challenging the declaration by the EC, although some members of the party had indicated that it will be filed by Wednesday, December 30, 2020.
As at 3:30 pm Tuesday, sources at the Supreme Court told Graphic Online that the NDC was yet to file its petition, reports Graphic Online’s Emmanuel Ebo Hawkson.
Per Article 64(1) of the 1992 Constitution, a petition challenging the validity of the election of the President should be filed at the Supreme Court within 21 days after the declaration of the results by the EC.
The EC declared the results on December 9 so technically the 21 one days elapses Wednesday, December 30, 2020.
According to a new Supreme Court (Amendment) (No.2) Rules, 2016 (C.I. 99), only the declared winner of the election, in this case (President Akufo-Addo), and the EC can be respondents in the petition.
Again, per the new rules, only Former President John Dramani Mahama, the Presidential Candidate of the NDC, can be the petitioner.
This is a major departure from the 2013 presidential election petition filed by then-candidate Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, which also had the New Patriotic Party (NPP) as a petitioner and the NDC being allowed to join as a respondent aside the Electoral Commission and the NDC’s presidential candidate, John Dramani Mahama.
This means per the new rules no joinder application will be allowed.
Another major shift in the new rules is that the Supreme Court will use 42 days to determine the petition.
This was unlike the 2013 case in which the petition traveled more than eight months.
Per Rule 69 C (4) of C.I. 99, the pre-trial of the petition shall be on the 10th day after the filing of the petition, with hearing commencing on the 15th day and ending on the 21st day respectively after the filing, while judgment will be on the 42nd day