Eection 2020 Petition: Asiedu Nketia, Kpessa-Whyte to testify for Mahama

Accra Former President John Dramani Mahama, the Petitioner of the 2020 Presidential Election Petition has filed his witness statements as, ordered by the Supreme Court, on Tuesday, 26, 2021.

The Petitioner has served notice that he would rely on Dr Michael Kpessa-Whyte, his representative in the Electoral Commission’s national collation Centre (strong room) and Mr Johnson Asiedu Nketia, the General Secretary of the National Democratic Congress as his witnesses.

In a 42-paragraph written statement, Mr Asiedu Nketia held that he was the General Secretary of the National Democratic Congress Party, on whose ticket the Petitioner stood as a Presidential Candidate.

Mr Asiedu Nketia held that the EC did not confer with agents of the Petitioner that there was any “reasonable” basis to revise the figures (valid votes) of the Petitioner and that of Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, the second respondent.

“This is contrary to the responsibilities of the EC under Article 296 of the Constitution,” he stated.

He held that under Article 296 of the Constitution, the EC and Nana Addo were not supposed ” to be biased either by resentment, prejudice or personal dislike in exercising discretionary powers but they were required to exercise powers in accordance with the law.”

Mr Asiedu Nketia argued that the figures underpinning the purported declaration of December 9, 2020, subsequent “corrections” as well as the “corrections of the correction”, were unwittingly confirmed by ‘no other person than Mr. Mac Manu, President Nana Akufo-Addo’s (the Second Respondent) representative in Court. Mr Mac Manu was also his Campaign Manager for the December 7, 2020 Presidential Election.

He had also claimed after the respondents had been served with the Petition that the Petitioner also benefitted from vote-padding by the First Respondent, he stated.

“A clip of his interview is attached to this witness statement and marked as ‘ExhibitG’,” he added.

He said the Chairperson of the Electoral Commission (the First Respondent) had, subsequent to her purported declaration on December 9, 2020, purported to have gazetted the declaration she made on December 9, 2020, by publishing the Declaration of the President-Elect Instrument, 2020 (C.I. 135), claiming that Second Respondent was the winner of the Presidential Election.

This was on the basis that the candidate had obtained more than 50 per cent of the valid votes cast.

He, therefore, attached a copy of C.I. 135 to the witness statement, which was marked as Exhibit “H”.

Mr Asiedu Nketia said the gazette notification of the outcome of the Presidential Election was based on the declaration actually made on December 9, 2020 by Mrs. Jean Adukwei Mensa, as the Chairperson of the Electoral Commission and the Returning Officer of the Presidential Election.

He said the said gazette notification, being notification of the ‘unconstitutional, error-ridden publicly broadcast declaration made by Mrs. Mensa on the evening of December 9, 2020’, was, therefore, also “unconstitutional”.

“Any changes or corrections to figures announced will also have to reflect those votes. The basis of a declaration of the election results cannot, and should not, be manufactured or be the result of strained mathematical adjustments of vote numbers and percentages in support of an erroneous premise, just to maintain what is indisputably an error-ridden declaration by the Returning Officer, Mrs Mensa,” he said.

Mr Asiedu Nketia said to uphold the Constitution of Ghana, it was necessary for the Apex Court to set aside the” error-ridden and unconstitutional declaration” made on December 9, 2020, by the Chairperson of the Commission, also the Returning Officer for the Presidential Election.

Dr Kpessa-Whyte, for his part, said as one of Petitioner’s representatives in the EC’s “Strongroom”, he noticed many material irregularities during the entire process of the December 7, 2020 Presidential Election.

Consequently, with his colleague representative at the “strong room”, Mr. Robert Joseph Mettle-Nunoo, he brought those “many” material irregularities to the immediate attention of the Petitioner and the National Democratic Congress.

He said based on their observation of the “many” material anomalies in the collation of votes in the “strongroom” and the subsequent report of same to the Petitioner and the NDC, the Party immediately caused a letter to be written to the Electoral Commission, detailing some of the Petitioner’s and the NDC’s concerns.

The Supreme Court on Tuesday, January 26, cautioned that it would not hesitate to dismiss the 2020 Election Petition filed by former President John Mahama, if the Petitioner failed to comply with the Court’s order to file his witness statements.

The Apex Court gave the caution after Former President Mahama, whose lawyers had told the court that they had five witnesses, failed to comply with the Court’s order to file their witness statements by Thursday, January 21, 2021, as ordered by the Court.

The Court had, on Wednesday, January 20, 2021, ordered the Petitioner to file his witness statements by Thursday, January 21, 2021.

However, when asked at the last sitting of the Court why the witness statements had not been filed, Mr Tony Lithur, one of the lawyers for the Petitioner, stated that

it was because he had filed a motion asking the Court to halt the proceedings until the final determination of the review application on interrogatories, which was dismissed by the Court.

He argued among others that, the petition could be undermined if the application for review was not heard.

The situation, could also affect their witness statements, he said.

When the Court resumed from a recess for about 30 minutes, it ordered the Petitioner to file his witness statements by Wednesday, January 27.

The Court, subsequently, fixed Thursday, January 28, 2021 as the next date for hearing.

Mr Mahama’s petition is asking the Supreme Court to order the Electoral Commission to conduct a second Presidential Election for the New Patriotic Party’s Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo and himself, claiming that none of the 12 candidates in the December 2020 race won more than 50 percent of the valid votes cast to win.

The EC, therefore, should not have declared Candidate Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo victorious, on December 9, it contended.

Source: Ghana News Agency



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