Akufo-Addo’s mandate upheld by apex court

The country’s apex court on Thursday dismissed a suit challenging the legitimacy of President Nana Akufo-Addo as the winner of the December 7 polls.

The decision by the seven-member panel of the Supreme Court came after nearly three months of hearing the case, which was filed by ex-president John Dramani Mahama.

According to Mr. Mahama, the chairperson of the Electoral Commission (EC), Mrs. Jean Mensa, in her declaration of the winner of the December 7 polls, had used data which showed that neither President Akufo-Addo nor himself secured more than 50 percent of the valid votes cast.

But delivering its judgement, Chief Justice Kwasi Anin Yeboah said: “The petitioner has not produced any evidence to rebut the presumption created by the publication of C.I. 135, for which reason his action has failed.”

The Chief Justice said there was no doubt that the chairperson of the Electoral Commission made a mistake by announcing 13,434,743 instead of 13,121,111 to be the total valid votes cast in the election.

Justice Anin Yeboah stated that the threshold to declare a president should be based on the total valid votes cast and not the total votes cast, and since the error was rectified by the chairperson, it was wrong for the petitioner to hold the EC to the error made.

In the apex court’s opinion, the chairperson had a right to correct the mistake when it was noticed.

Consequently, the court ruled that President Nana Akufo-Addo was duly elected as he had more than 50 percent of the valid votes cast.

The former president had also alleged in his petition that votes were padded for the President, contributing to his margin of victory.

But the court held that the accusation of vote padding was not proven by the petitioner.

According to the Chief Justice, the judges were also settled in their minds that even if there was vote padding, it did not in any way affect the outcome of the election.

“The petitioner did not adduce cogent evidence to back this claim. The court expected the pink sheets to be exhibited to prove the claims. Allegations of wrong aggregations of votes were not proved. Even if the vote padding was accepted, it would not impact the validity of the votes of Nana Akufo-Addo,” Justice Anin Yeboah affirmed.

Source: Business 24,https://business24.com.gh/2021/03/05/akufo-addos-mandate-upheld-by-apex-court/

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