NPP?s Argument

After about a 15-minute break, the court heard the NPP?s response from Philip Addison.

He said, ?We are opposed to this application because it is completely unmeritorious.?

He said the court first of all needed to consider whether the NDC?s application was properly brought before the court before deciding on other matters.

He argued that the NDC brought the application under Rule 45 (4) of C. 1.16 but sub section 4 of the court?s rules required that an application for joinder needed to be made by a party mentioned in the petition, which the NDC is not.

?The petition was brought under Part 8 of C.I 16 in C.I. 74. Under Part 8, there are no provisions for joinder. The provisions for joinder stated in Part 4 cannot be brought under Part 8.?

He argued that ?in Part 4 there is no time bound but under Part 8, there is a time bound. There is no restriction of who can invoke the court?s jurisdiction under Part 4.?
He said that Part 4 was made pursuant to Article 130 and added that ?clearly the joinder under Part 8 defeats the purpose of the applicant?s motion.

?There is no action in Part 4 and if they are bringing an action there then it is incompetent. It will defeat the express purpose under Part 8 if the application is granted. On this score alone, this application ought to be thrown out.?

Mr. Addison cited Article 63 of the? Constitution which relates to the election of the President and said ?provisions relating to the election of the President make no reference to political parties.?

He said that Article 64 talks about challenging elections and C.I. 74 sets out clearly the rules as to who to challenge adding that C.I 74 (b) directs that where there is still no complaint even against the EC, the petitioner was enjoined to bring the EC in a petition.

?In this petition, no allegation is made against the candidate. No relief is sought against them. The EC filed its answer to our petition and nowhere in that answer did the EC say they needed the NDC?s assistance.

?The 1st respondent (President Mahama) also filed a response and nowhere did he say he will need the assistance of the NDC as a party,? adding that ?there is no reference to political parties in C.I 74.?

He argued that under Presidential Elections Act (PNDC Law 285) section 3, there is no mention of political parties adding that ?it is clear the nomination is done by a document and not political parties.?

?He (President) swears the oath and not political parties swear,? adding, ?We have gone through the statutory declaration and nowhere did it say the candidate should declare his political party.?

He said the 1st respondent (President Mahama) is not President of NDC but President of Ghana, adding, ?If he resigns from the NDC today as President he will continue to be President of Ghana that is why we have independent candidates.?

He said membership of a political party is not a necessary condition to the election of a candidate and added that nomination of a presidential candidate is by a document which the candidate signs himself.

?Applicant (NDC) can?t claim to be more interested than the applicant who contested the election. They didn?t give details of how they have direct interest or they will be directly affected if they are not joined to the petition.?

THE EXPOSURE

Mr. Addison said in filing the application, the NDC made certain averments saying, ?I don?t understand why the application for joinder was filed before the EC?s response and yet were able to make certain reference to the EC?s answers.?

He said even though the NPP sponsored Nana Akufo- Addo, the party is precluded from bringing a petition in the same instance as the NDC.

He dismissed Mr Tsikata?s submission that the NPP applied to be joined in the Ekwam v. Pianirn case, saying there were reliefs sought and the NPP automatically became an interested party. ?It is different from what the NDC is seeking to do in this case.?

He also said the case in which Mr. Tsikata himself testifies during his (Mr. Tsikata) trial could not apply in this case saying, ?The IFC had not applied to join the Tsikata proceedings. In this case, the NDC is seeking to join.?

He said ?the NDC woefully failed to demonstrate that they are a necessary party to this petition.?

He said that applications for joinders were normally done to avoid a multiplicity of suits and in this case that fear was erased because the case was time-bound adding, ?They are not even qualified to bring a petition.?

He said that interestingly, the NDC cited all the cases that Chris Ackumey relied on unsuccessfully when he filed to join the suit in which one Ransford France tried to block the EC from going ahead to create 45 additional constituencies.

?Are they suggesting they can put up a better fight than the respondent who is threatening to bring 4,800 witnesses?? he asked, adding that ?the application if granted will muddy the waters.?

MAHAMA LEGAL TEAM

When counsel finished his long submission, Tony Lithur representing President Mahama told the court he wanted to respond on points of law but the NPP team objected saying he should have filed formally to be able to make an input.

After a back and forth argument, the court, by a 6-3 majority decision, said Mr. Lithur could put in a submission.

He said he associated himself with the NDC?s application and added that the pluralism of the Constitution found expression in political parties.

?The NPP seeks to eliminate political parties for the contest of the highest office of the land.?

NPP?s REBUTTAL

Mr. Addison again responded that there was nowhere in President Mahama?s answer to the petition that he would need the NDC, saying, ?I think it is an afterthought.?

?He didn?t file any affidavit or state in its response that it would require an answer. It is a breach of the rules and it is an afterthought.?

EC?s POSITION

James Quarshie-Idun representing the EC said ?it is not our intention to make any submission on this motion for joinder.?

Mr. Tsikata then mounted the platform to reply to the NPP?s submission and cited C.I. 16 Rule 4 (b)(1) and said it is relevant to Rule 45 (4).

He said that statutory declaration had nothing to do with the constitutional role of political parties because ?we are standing on the constitutional right.?

The court adjourned proceedings until January 22, for ruling on whether or not the NDC should be allowed to join the petition as respondents.

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.