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Supreme Court Rejects An Appeal By The Petitioner To Request For EC’s Documents

The Supreme Court has dismissed an application filed by lawyers for the petitioner in the election petition hearing, John Dramani Mahama, to inspect documents of the 1st Respondent and the Electoral Commission (EC).

In dismissing the application on Wednesday, February 3, the Chief Justice Anin Yeboah who read the ruling on behalf of the justices said “the proceedings so far impact on the fact that, the petitioner has copies of the documents which are the subject of this application. We are of the view that no proper case has been before us to warrant the exercise of our discretion in favour of the applicant.

“Order 29 of CI 47 which is the basis of this application should not be read in isolation, It should be read in conjunction with Rule 11 of the said Order.”

He added that Section 166 of the Evidence Act 323 of 1975 “makes it clear that, a duplicate of a document is admissible to the same extent as the original unless a genuine question is raised as to authenticity of the duplicate . No issue has been raised against the authenticity of the document in possession of the applicant “

Lead Counsel for the petitioner, Mr Tsatsu Tsikata on Tuesday filed the application in court to inspect the EC’s documents.

The documents they are seeking to inspect include the original copy of all the constituencies presidential election results and collation forms for all constituencies.

Furthermore, they requested for all constituencies presidential results summary sheet, regional presidential summary sheets for all regions, and the declaration of the presidential results form.

Counsel for the 1st Respondent, Electoral Commission and Justin Amenuvor averred that, the petitioner’s application should be dismissed because the time allowed for such an action is not right.

It was based on the Article 64 (1) of the Constitution of Ghana, 1992, stating that, the petitioner has the opportunity of 21 days from the day the presidential election results were declared but failed to request for the information in question.

The petitioner didn’t draw the attention of the court that, he requested to inspect such documents within 21 days before the petition was filed.

Mr Justin Amenuvor raised questions as to why the application to inspect documents only came on “the 34th day after the petition has been filed when hearing is underway.”

The Lawyer for the 2nd Respondent, Mr Akoto Ampaw therefore appealed to the Supreme Court to dismiss the application because it is misconceived.

He contended that, Tsatsu Tsikata’s argument about the right for a fair hearing is “misconceived”.

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