Prime News Ghana

Supreme Court grants Mahama's request to amend 'mistake' in election petition

By Mutala Yakubu
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The Supreme Court has granted former President John Mahama's request to correct an ‘error’ in his election petition challenging the validity of the declaration of President Akufo-Addo as the winner of Election 2020.

Lawyers for Mahama filed a motion for amendment to correct a mistake in relief (f) of the election petition.

The court said mistakes are bound to happen once we are humans and granted that request.

Mahama and his team have up till 4:00 pm on January 14, 2021, to make that amendment.

READ ALSO: Supreme Court grants Mahama's request for live broadcast of election petition

This also means that necessarily President Akufo-Addo and the EC will also make amendment by Friday January 15, 2021.

The court also said pretrial of the case will begin on January 19, 2021.

Earlier the court granted Mahama's request for the proceedings to be telecast live on Tv.

Legal representation for Mr Mahama included Tony Lithur led by Tsatsu Tsikata.

There was also Justin Amenuvor and Lawyer A. Asamoah for the 1st Respondent; and Akoto Ampaw with Frank Davies, Kwaku Asirifi, and Yaw Oppong for the 2nd Respondent.

Mr. Mahama and the NDC rejected the 2020 presidential election result describing it as flawed and have refused to recognise Nana Akufo-Addo as President.

He argues that neither he nor President Akufo-Addo attained a clear majority because of the omission of the Techiman South constituency from the provisional declaration of results by Ghana’s Electoral Commission.

According to the Electoral Commission President Akufo-Addo garnered 51.59 percent of the votes while Mr. Mahama got 47.37 percent.

He is now asking the Supreme Court to order a re-run of the presidential election for him and the incumbent.

Following changes to election adjudication guidelines, the petition hearing is expected to last for at most 42 days; a massive reduction from the eight-month-long hearing in 2012 when President Akufo-Addo, then in opposition, unsuccessfully challenged his election defeat to Mr. Mahama.

The court is expected to give judgment on Mr. Mahama’s petition by February 10, the final day in the 42-day timeline.

President Akufo-Addo is proceeding with his transition and has described the election petition as as “incompetent, frivolous and vexatious” in a 12-page response.

His legal team also argued that the claims made by Mr. Mahama “are not supported by the facts pleaded in the Petition”.

The Electoral Commission also filed its preliminary objection to Mr. Mahama in a 10-page response and acknowledged the possibility of errors but said the possible discrepancies would not have any significant effect on the final election results.

It also said Mr. Mahama in his petition erroneously depended on the total number of votes cast to make his case as being the total number of valid votes cast, an error which was inadvertently mentioned by the EC Chairperson during the declaration of the presidential result but was later corrected in a press release.

The commission and President Akufo-Addo, both sued by Mahama, have thus asked the Supreme Court to dismiss the petition.