Three months after the 2020 election, Ghanaians may still have removed dead bodies from the streets, the air filled with the stench of rottenness as flies and vultures swarm over dead bodies. Those bodies may have been yours, mine, or your children’s.
Remember Liberia, Sierra Leone, Rwanda and Cote d’Ivoire: men, women and children, civilians and soldiers, without limbs; people hacked to death by political and tribal enemies.
Ghana was at the very turning point in 2020.
As tyres burned and tear gas erupted in the streets of peace-loving Ghana, I was told that priests, Imams, members of the Council of State and diplomats were begging Mahama to call off his party supporters and go to Law.
How our hearts have been in our throats!
Remember the people who lost their lives. By their deaths, the bread was stripped from the tables of their wives and children. Without the social stability of the extended family system, their children will soon be on the streets (out of school), begging for food, driving trucks and learning street survival tricks that turn teens into violent assassins, rapists and thieves.
Totally avoidable, if you ask me about it. And all we needed after all these years is a government (President, Parliament), in consultation with the Council of State, the Trade Union, religious bodies and civil society, to determine that the 1992 Constitution should be amended to extend the time between election and inauguration.
Due to the shortness of time between the result announcement and the inauguration of the President, the aggrieved candidates fear that, even if they take their petition to court, the judges, taking into account those appointments made by the sworn-in victorious candidate, would not want to disrupt the apple cart and would therefore call upon the technicalities of the law to validate the results.
Three Fridays ago, I advocated that there should be hope for such aggrieved candidates, citing the results of the election petitions in Kenya and Malawi that went in favor of the petitioners, against the sitting presidents, Uhuru Kenyatta (2017) and Peter Mutharika (2019), respectively.
There’s hope in it. Among the judges of the Supreme Court of Ghana, I can lay my two hands on justices Henrietta Mensah Bonsu, Samuel Marful Sau, Gertrude Torkonoo and Emmanuel Yonny Kulendi – the few whom I have met personally, some of whom I have laughed with, and some of whom I have personally traced their personal badge of honesty.
But not everyone has confidence in their personal character, and we’re not all healthy guys, not even when they’re riding a V8 or gleaming limousine. If you think I’m exaggerating, just throw your mind back to the night of January 6 and 7, 2021 in the Parliament of Ghana!
We can no longer afford to postpone the critical and urgent amendment of the 1992 Constitution. While at it, we should dare to also take out “Winner Takes All” from our politics. It feeds our greed.
Remember, God does not have a soft spot for our country. Just remember that Liberians were once rated as the most God-fearing people in Africa.
I repeat that John Mahama’s tongue-lashing against the judges was unjustified. I am convinced that he lost the case. Like him, I was disappointed that Jean Mensah did not testify. But that was not fatal; after all, ECs account to Parliament, not court.
The moment Asiedu Nketia ended his testimony, the outcome of the Election Petition was clear. Without presenting NDC figures to contradict the EC’s, how else do human beings prove an accusation that a candidate in a Ghanaian election did not meet the Article 63 (3) threshold of crossing 50 per cent of the total valid votes cast?
Unless the court’s calculator was faulty, Asiedu Nketia’s own calculation showed that Nana Addo won 51.59% of the vote.
Granted there were vote padding and other errors, the only way to show that they affected the outcome of a presidential election result was to bring evidence of it to court. NDC’s samples? That was laughable. Courts don’t work with samples: that’s for academic research.
I agree with the majority verdict that “The petitioner did not demonstrate in any way how the alleged errors affected the validity of the (results)”
Dear reader, is it reasonable to accept as true, the allegation that the EC Chair instructed a “hard man” like Rojo Mettle Nunoo? Is it reasonable to accept that Jean Mensah could trick an NDC member, any NDC member, when from her first day in office, the party had withstood her, every step of the way, and for every (I repeat, every) decision she took?
John Mahama owes Akufo Addo a concession phone call.
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