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CJ must probe election petition judgement now

Source: GhanaWeb NPP:

The New Patriotic Party is calling on the Chief Justice to, as a matter of urgency, institute full scale investigations into the election petition verdict delivered by the nine justices of the Supreme Court in August.

The party’s call comes on the heels of a leaked tape, which captures the voice of former deputy communication Minister, Victoria Hammah, in which she alleged in a phone conversation that Nana Oye Lithur was privy to the verdict before it was delivered by Justice William Atuguba.

Nana Oye Lithur is Minister for Gender, Children and Social Protection and also wife of Tony Lithur, lawyer for President Mahama in the election petition trial.

Below is the New Patriotic Party’s full statement

The New Patriotic Party is shocked at the damning revelations made by, now former deputy Minister of Communications, Victoria Hammah that the verdict of the Presidential Election Petition delivered by Justice William Atuguba on the 29th of August was influenced by the government of President John Dramani Mahama.

The dismissal of Victoria Hammah coupled with the deafening silence of President Mahama and his government in not denying the statements by Victoria Hammah, as contained in her dismissal letter, could only mean that they are true and factual.

According to Victoria Hammah, “I learnt even before the verdict, Nana (Oye Lithur) was with the Justices and all that. You don’t know the role she has played for us to win the court case.”

The question is what role did a Minister of State in the Mahama government have to play to secure victory for her boss, if indeed, the respondents knew the petitioners had no case?

The Election Petition filed by the petitioners was grounded on evidence gathered and now Ghanaians are being told that Nana Oye Lithur, who happens to be the wife of Tony Lithur, counsel for President Mahama in the petition, was instrumental in securing victory for President Mahama, going to the extent of meeting the Supreme Court Judges before the verdict was delivered.

Were the true issues of the petition even considered by the judges or was it a case of maintaining the status quo at all cost, so as to keep President Mahama as president of Ghana regardless of the overwhelming evidence presented by the petitioners?

Were the errors made by Justice Atuguba on the day he delivered the judgement, where Justice Baffoe-Bonnie was said to have dismissed and upheld the petitioners’ claims of voting without verification all at the same time, as a result of the pressure put to bear on the judges by Nana Oye Lithur, before the verdict was read?

Indeed in the aftermath of the petition, a publication in the New Free Press indicated that the Inspector General of Police led some of the Judges that sat on the Presidential Petition to meet President Mahama on the morning of August 29. Thus far, neither President Mahama nor the IGP has denied this allegation.

As per Victoria Hammah’s revelations, it is not surprising that television cameras showed President Mahama wearing all-white apparel, with his Vice President and other appointees clad in white and waving white handkerchiefs even before the verdict was delivered. Certainly, they were all aware of the work Nana Oye Lithur had done in meeting the judges. The NPP is calling on the Chief Justice to, as a matter of urgency, institute a commission to probe the judgement of the 9 Supreme Court judges in the wake of these revelations by Victoria Hammah.

The independence of the judiciary has been called into question by these revelations. If the sanctity of the Judiciary cannot be maintained, but can be influenced by officials in government, then what hope does the ordinary man on the streets have of obtaining justice if the court is available to be unduly influenced?

Ghana deserves better and the Chief Justice must act now to safeguard our democracy and restore the confidence of Ghanaians in the judiciary.

……signed……

Kwadwo Owusu Afriyie

NPP General Secretary