At the end of the almost half-hour address by John Dramani Mahama, one thing that made clear was his disagreement with the seven justices of the Supreme Court over the processes and basis of their dismissal of his application to have a rerun of the 2020 presidential election.
What was, however, not clear was whether he accepted the verdict or was going to seek a review or take another action in an attempt to have what will in his estimation be justice.
The closest he came to offering clarity on his position was when he said, “Much as I’m aware that we’re legally bound by the decision of the highest court of the land – the Supreme Court of Ghana, I disagree with the process and the ruling of the case. For the avoidance of doubts, I said that much as I’m aware that we’re legally bound by the decision of the Supreme Court, I disagree with the process of the trial and ruling of the court.’
The statement above confirms neither his acceptance nor rejection of the ruling and the next way forward for him and the National Democratic Congress.
He, however, hinted at a possible move when he said that his legal team will offer their interpretation of the ruling at an ‘appropriate time’.
“Ladies and Gentlemen, this case will go into the Ghana Law Reports for the future, and academics and students of law alike will clearly find befuddling, the internal contradictions in our jurisprudence. At the appropriate time, the legal team will come out with detailed comments on the judgment.”
Mahama in his disagreement with the ruling listed a number of issues including his opinion that the justices of the Supreme Court aided the counsels for Electoral Commission and Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo to have Jean Mensa evade accountability.
“Ghanaians were hoping to hear her testify and many are still baffled by the refusal of Mrs. Jean 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. Jean Mensa accountable was blocked time and again by a protective cordon and firewall that I am sure have confounded many Ghanaians.”
“The refusal of the Chairperson is in sharp contrast to the readiness with which Dr. Kwadwo Afari Gyan, then Chairman of the Electoral Commission, willingly testified in the 2013 Election petition filed by then-candidate Nana Akufo-Addo of the NPP.”
“Speaking as a Ghanaian, with no legal training, I believe that the refusal of the Electoral Commission Chairperson to testify in this election petition leaves a bad precedent for the future. 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.”
John Mahama also did not offer any update on his future with the NDC. It remains unknown whether he will take a bow from politics or will lead the NDC into the 2024 elections.
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