Supreme Court in Accra

The Supreme Court on Wednesday set January 22 to give its ruling on the suit by the NDC to join the petition brought by Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo Addo, NPP?s Presidential Candidate, and two others. The date for the ruling was set following arguments by lawyers on both sides on why the NDC should be allowed to join the petition filed by the NPP.

Nana Akufo Addo, Dr Mahamudu Bawumia NPP?s Vice Presidential Candidate in Election 2012 and Mr Jake Obetsebi Lamptey, NPP Chairman have filed a petition against the Electoral Commission (EC) and President John Dramani Mahama.

Mr Philip Addison, Lead Counsel for the petitioners during today?s court sitting withdrew their objection to the composition of the panel paving the way for Court to continue with the joinder application hearing.

Mr Tsatsu Tsikata, Counsel for the NDC, said it was fair and just for the party to be allowed to join the case because any decision reached by the court will directly affect the NDC as an entity.

He explained that President Mahama was selected by the NDC to stand on its platform to contest the December 7, 2012 election.

He said even though the NDC had not been invited, the party took the time to join the case because it has an interest to protect.

Mr Tsikata who cited various authorities to back his case said President Mahama was not an independent candidate who was on his own but was selected and supported by the NDC to stand on its ticket so the NDC has a big stake in the matter and should be allowed to join the NPP?s petition.

Mr Addison countered by saying they were opposed to the NDC?s application because it is without merit and it is a ploy by the NDC to delay the case.

He also questioned whether the NDC?s application has been properly laid before the court in accordance with C.I. 16, as he explained that part 8 of the C.I 16 clearly spelt out the provision by which a person can file to join a petition which is clearly different from part 4 of the provisions.

Mr Addison also cited various legal authorities to support his argument stressing that since the specific provisions was in part 4 and not in part 8 it meant that the exclusions in that provision was well intended.

He further questioned the competence of the NDC in the matter because Article 63(1) which relates to the election of a president does not make any reference to a political party nominating a candidate for the elections.

He said the NDC has no greater stake than President Mahama who is the first respondent in the petition and whose eligibility is being challenged.      

He said the NDC has no locus in the matter and that the application is just ?to muddy the waters?.

GNA

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