President Akufo-Addo is asking the Supreme Court to ignore the stay of execution application filed by former President John Dramani Mahama who is challenging the results of the December 2020 presidential election which saw the former re-elected to a second term.
On Wednesday, January 20, 2021, the court ordered Mr. Mahama’s legal team to file its witness statements by the close of day on Thursday.
But lead counsel for Mr. Mahama, Tsatsu Tsikata rose to informed the court that they had filed an application urging the court to review its earlier decision that rejected a request to subject the EC Chairperson to 12 questions.
On Thursday morning, the day the court ordered the petitioner to file its witness statement for the case to proceed, his lawyers filed another application, asking that the court halts all proceedings relating to the case till it determines their review application.
According to them, if the court proceeds without a determination of the review application, it would be exercising a miscarriage of justice which will cause irreparable harm beyond remedy.
However, President Akufo-Addo through his lawyers is challenging the application, arguing that John Mahama was well aware of the strict 42-day timeline imposed on the Supreme Court to deal with election petitions, and so cannot delay the process.
Documents filed by Mr. Akufo-Addo’s legal team said that the law imposing such a requirement was gazetted and came into force on 5th January 2017 when Mr. Mahama was President of Ghana.
They further argue that Mr. Mahama could have filed his interrogatories request shortly after filing his petition on December 30, 2020, or at least on 9th January 2021 when he received the EC and President Akufo-Addo’s response to his petition.
In their view, the stay of execution application filed by the petitioner was a plot to stampede the clear timelines imposed on the Supreme Court, so it should not be entertained.
“There are no exceptional circumstances occasioning a miscarriage of justice that warrant the grant of the instant application for stay of proceedings.
“This honorable court ought to dismiss the application as unmeritorious and calculated to stall the hearing of a petition that he himself has initiated,” the court document said in part.