The presidential candidate of the National Democratic Congress (NDC) in the 2020 election, former President John Dramani Mahama, has filed two legal processes at the Supreme Court seeking 30 answers from the Electoral Commission (EC) on the presidential election declaration.
This is in relation to his presidential election petition challenging the declaration of President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo as winner of the 2020 presidential poll.
In his first process, motion for leave to serve interrogatories in what is called “further and better particulars, Mr Mahama is seeking permission from the Supreme Court to allow him to elicit answers that border on how the Chairperson of the EC, Mrs Jean Adukwei Mensa, arrived at the figures she used in declaring President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo as the winner of the 2020 presidential poll.
With the second process — request to admit facts, the petitioner wants the EC to either admit or deny certain “facts” with regard to what ensued on December 9, 2020, the day Mrs. Mensa, who is the returning officer for the presidential poll, declared President Akufo-Addo as the President-elect.
The two processes were filed at the Supreme Court.
Former President Mahama is seeking 12 interrogatories from the EC.
He argued in his motion on notice that the 12 interrogatories were crucial to his case, as they would help in the fair determination of his petition and assist the Supreme Court “to expeditiously determine the petition”.
The 12 interrogatories include how the results of the presidential election in the constituency collation centres were transmitted to the regional collation centres; how those from the regional collation centres were transmitted to the headquarters of the EC, and if in previous elections, results from constituency collation centres were transmitted directly to the “strong room” in the EC headquarters.
Mr Mahama also wants the EC to tell him if the National Communications Authority played any role or “facilitated in any way, the transmission of the election results to the headquarters of the EC”
Other interrogatories include: “How did Mrs Mensa get to realise there were errors in figures she had announced in her declaration on December 9?
In respect of the purported corrections made to the figures in the declaration, the petitioner wants to know if there was any prior process of conferring with agents of the presidential candidates?
Did Mrs Mensa present the declaration of the presidential result form to all agents of the presidential candidates to sign; and, if so, did all the agents sign?
The petitioner further wants the EC to state which date Mrs Mensa posted a copy of the presidential declaration form at the head office of the EC, and if the EC recorded any discrepancies “which were occasioned by computational and mathematical errors in the course of the collation of the results.”
Request to admit facts
With regard to the second process, Mr Mahama is requiring 18 “facts” from the EC.
These include: If during the declaration on December 9, 2020, the EC Chairperson stated that President Akufo-Addo, the presidential candidate of the New Patriotic Party (NPP) in the 2020 election, obtained 6,730,413 votes, representing 51.595 per cent of the total valid votes cast?
He also wants to know if the results as declared on December 9, 2020, excluded the results from the Techiman South Constituency, and if indeed Mrs Mensa stated that if all votes from Techiman South were added to his (Mahama’s) votes, it would not change the outcome of the results?
Other supposed facts being requested by former President Mahama are if indeed Mrs Mensa refused to accept a letter from the NDC detailing certain errors in the collation of the results of the December 7, 2020 presidential elections, and if the EC admitted to errors in the declaration on December 9, 2020.
In the petition, former President Mahama argues that no candidate won the 2020 presidential election and, therefore, the declaration of President Akufo-Addo as winner of the election by the Chairperson of the EC was “null, void, unconstitutional and of no legal effect”.
He argued that as per the results announced by Mrs Mensa on December 9, 2020, no candidate garnered more than 50 per cent of the total valid votes cast, as required by Article 63(3) of the 1992 Constitution.
The petitioner is, therefore, asking the Supreme Court to order the EC to organise a second election (run-off) between him (Mahama) and President Akufo-Addo because in his (Mahama’s) estimation, no candidate won the 2020 presidential election.
In their responses, President Akufo-Addo and the EC argued that the petition was incompetent, lacked merit and raised no reasonable cause of action.
It was their contention that the petition did not even meet the requirement of a presidential election petition, as stipulated in Article 64 (1) of the 1992 Constitution, and was, therefore, incompetent.
That, they argued, was because the petition made no allegation of infractions in the election at any of the 38,622 polling stations and 311 special voting centres.