John Mahama and Chief Justice Anin Yeboah
FORMER PRESIDENT John Mahama has infamously descended heavily on the justices of the Supreme Court, accusing them of being the cause of the National Democratic Congress’ (NDC) failure to get the results of the December 7, 2020 Presidential Elections annulled to pave way for a rerun, as he had wished.
Without mincing words, the NDC leader, who led his political party to a second successive electoral defeat at the hands of President Akufo-Addo in 2020, stated that the justices that sat on the election petition, led by the Chief Justice, Kwasi Anin-Yeboah, were not fair to the NDC, as their verdict smacks of hypocrisy.
Mr. Mahama, who was addressing NDC members after the Supreme Court, had ruled to authenticate President Akufo-Addo as the winner of the December 7 Elections, stated that the decision of the Supreme Court to shield the Chairperson of the Electoral Commission (EC), Mrs. Jean Mensa, from testifying in court was a mystery to him.
According to Mahama, whose demeanour portrayed that he was aggrieved by the unanimous rejection of the NDC’s Election Petition, the Supreme Court had set a negative and bad precedence by infamously throwing away the NDC’s genuine case, predicting that the verdict would live to hunt the country in future.
Protection For Jane Mensa
Mr. Mahama said the wrongdoings of Mrs. Mensa was among the key reasons that the NDC proceeded to the apex court of the land for redress and justice, but from the onset of the hearing of the case, the Supreme Court did not hide their intentions to do everything possible to protect Mrs. Mensa from being exposed.
“Ghanaians were hoping to hear her testify and many are still baffled by the refusal of Mrs. Mensa to be held to account by testifying in this case, unfortunately, with the unanimous agreement of the justices of the Supreme Court of Ghana. This vital part of the process to establish the truth and hold Mrs. Mensa accountable was blocked time and again by the protective cordon of firewall that I am sure have confounded Ghanaians.
“Speaking as a Ghanaian, with no legal training, I believe that the refusal of the EC Chairperson to testify in this election petition leave a bad precedent for the future,” Mr. Mahama jabbed the justices and recounted that Dr. Kwadwo Afari Gyan, an ex-EC Boss, in a similar election petition case in 2013, willingly testified, arguing that the action of the current justices were unacceptable.
“I disagree with the suggestion of our justices that an election petition is akin to any other civil litigation and therefore an EC Chairperson, whose functions go to the heart of our democracy, can by a legal sleight of hand avoid accounting for her stewardship in an appropriate forum such as the highest court of the land.”
Accusing the Supreme Court again of being bias, he said at a point, during the hearing of the important case, that it became evidently clear that the justices had thrown away fairness, which ideally should be a key feature in their delivery of justice, as they (judges), in unison, provided a “metal shield” around Mrs. Mensa to protect her.
He said “requests for interrogatories were dismissed. A request to inspect documents in the possession of the commission was turned down. The request for admission of facts was ignored,” adding that Mrs. Mensa enjoyed all these protection from the court even though majority of Ghanaians knew that she (Jean) failed to deliver a free and fair poll.
“Worse still, she was aided by her counsel and the court to avoid explaining to the good people of Ghana from her own testimony, under oath in a properly constituted court of law, the errors she herself admitted to have committed in the declaration of the 2020 Presidential Elections results.” Mr. Mahama fumed as he threw more salvos at the revered justices.
“This is a clear stab in the heart of transparency and accountability to the sovereign people of Ghana. Whatever the reason for not allowing Mrs. Mensa to testify or answer any questions, it leaves an embarrassing stain, not only on our justice delivery system but also on the nation’s electoral system, which has deepened the grave doubts harboured by many Ghanaians about the true outcome of the December 2020 Presidential Elections.”
Asiedu Nketiah Factor
According to the former President, the NDC General Secretary, Johnson Asiedu Nketiah, who testified in court, did a nice job as he stood in the dock, but unfortunately, since the justices had already decided to reject the NDC’s case, they (justices) took his testimony out of context to serve as basis to reject the NDC’s petition.
Mr. Mahama, who was in the courtroom on some few occasions during the entire duration of the case, said, “I have followed the proceedings of this petition and listened to the testimony of our general secretary, Mr. Nketiah, from beginning to end. I am quite alarmed at the mutilation of his testimony in the Supreme Court ruling.
“Indeed, the ruling I heard today, virtually makes him the star witness of the first and second respondents. Many answers of his testimony in cross-examination were taken out of context to create the basis for the dismissal of our election petition,” noting that the NDC were not given fair treatment by the court.
Defends Tsatsu Tsikata
According to him, the NDC legal team, which was led by the celebrated and famous lawyer, Tsatsu Tsikata, put up a brilliant display by clearly and carefully explaining the merits of the NDCs case in a manner that even a layman, with no legal knowledge, would understand, yet the Supreme Court ruled against the NDC, which was very strange.
“Our legal team, led by Tsatsu Tsikata, put together our case in a clear manner, which left no one in doubt about what the issues were. Apart from seeking to ensure compliance with the constitution and for the true choice of the people of Ghana to be respected, the petition sought to provide opportunity for transparency and accountability in the management of our electoral processes,” yet the NDC’s genuine case was booted away.
Attacks Supreme Court
Mr. Mahama, once again, lambasted the Supreme Court for letting down the citizenry by coming out with an unfair judgment, saying, “Much as I am aware that we are legally bound by the decision of the Supreme Court, I disagree with the process of trial and ruling of the court.”
According to him, Article 125 Section 1 of the 1992 Constitution, which clearly directs the judiciary to be independent in the delivery of justice, was frowned upon by the Supreme Court in the case under discussion, noting that “I believe that the law should not be an instrument for partisan purposes.”