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29 August 2017

Four years today: Supreme Court ruled on Election Petition case

Exactly four years ago [August 29, 2013], Ghana experienced a landmark ruling in an eight month long prolonged tussle at the Supreme Court over the validity of the presidential results in the 2012 polls dubbed “Election Petition.”

This follows the challenge of the 2012 presidential results by the New Patriotic Party led by Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia.

The NPP argued that they had every reason to believe that the results were rigged in favour of the National Democratic Congress’ (NDC) candidate John Dramani Mahama.

They prayed the Court to declare their candidate, Nana Akufo-Addo as President with reasons that unpardonable malpractices and irregularities at 10,119 polling stations justified the nullification of 3,931,339 “invalid votes” which, the petitioners argued, would have beaten down John Mahama’s votes and overturned the declared results by the Electoral Commission.

According to the NPP’s pleadings, over-voting occurred at 1,722 polling stations, while voting without biometric verification occurred at 2,020 polling stations.

They claimed presiding officers did not also sign pink sheets at 1,638 polling stations, while the use of duplicate serial numbers on pink sheets affected 8,987 polling stations.

The petitioners further argued that if the results of the 10,119 polling stations were annulled, President Mahama’s votes would have reduced by 2,622,551, which would have, in turn, beaten down the results declared by the Electoral Commission in his favour, to 41.79 per cent.

They said although Nana Akufo-Addo’s votes would have, in like manner, been reduced by 1,233,186, he would have nonetheless secured 56.85 per cent, per their permutations, to cross the 50 per cent mark for victory.

But the nine panel Supreme Court in its ruling read by Justice William Atuguba upheld John Mahama as the constitutionally elected President. The ruling however quelled the tensions in Ghana at the time.

The other justices who sat on the case included: Justices Julius Ansah, Sophia Adinyira, Rose Constance Owusu, Jones Victor Dotse, Anin Yeboah, Paul Baffoe-Bonnie, N. S. Gbadegbe and Vida Akoto-Bamfo.

The Supreme Court further made some recommendations to the Electoral Commission for subsequent elections.

Although the then flagbearer of the NPP, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo disagreed with the Supreme Court’s ruling, he accepted it in good faith.

By: citifmonline.com/Ghana

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