It is obvious that going into the beginning of the Supreme Court deliberations over the Akufo-Addo/New Patriotic Party (NPP) petition challenging the political legitimacy of President John Dramani Mahama and, indeed, Election 2012 in general, the three major respondents in the case were woefully under-prepared. The three parties concerned are, of course, the President of Ghana, the Electoral Commission, and the ruling National Democratic Congress (NDC) – (See “Continuation of the Case Today Would Have Been Injustice – Gloria Akuffo” Citifmonline.com/Ghanaweb.com).
As of Tuesday, April 16, 2013, when the Atuguba-led panel of Supreme Court jurists began hearing the case, President Mahama, Dr. Kwadwo Afari-Gyan, the chairman of the Electoral Commission, and Mr. Johnson Asiedu-Nketia, general-secretary of the National Democratic Congress, had yet to file their affidavits of response to the New Patriotic Party’s petition.
What the preceding means, of course, is that there was a false start, which was why the NPP/Akufo-Addo legal team prayed the court for an adjournment of proceedings while the petitioners got duly apprised of the evidentiary affidavits of the respondents. In other words, while Messrs. Mahama, Afari-Gyan and Asiedu-Nketia were fully informed as to the issues the main opposition New Patriotic Party wanted the court to deliberate and rule on, the Akufo-Addo/NPP plaintiffs had absolutely no inkling about precisely what the parties who allegedly criminally collaborated to usurp the sacred mandate of the Ghanaian electorate wanted the court to deliberate and rule on.
What is curiously interesting here is how the Atuguba panel of Supreme Court jurists would have allowed the full hearing of the case to proceed, if the Akufo-Addo/NPP legal team had not prayed for an immediate adjournment of proceedings until the petitioners had been fully informed about the issues which their political opponents wanted the court to review and rule on.
In sum, contrary to what Mr. Asiedu-Nketia would have Ghanaians and the rest of the international community believe, it was actually the case of the respondents – namely, President Mahama, Dr. Afari-Gyan and the National Democratic Congress, represented by the party’s general-secretary – that fast began to crumble even before a full hearing of the Atuguba panel had commenced.
As of this writing, April 21, 2013, members of the National Democratic Congress’ legal team had began preparing for a concession of defeat by gratuitously picking a quarrel with the Atuguba panel, regarding the latter’s laying down of firm rules to ensure that the NDC and the EC losing collaborative team did not turn the proceedings into a nauseating circus act.
Well, as was to be expected, the court ruled in favor of the petitioners for a brief discontinuance until the following day. Needless to say, the respondents have had as much time as the petitioners to prepare their counter-petitions. And so their gaping failure to submit their affidavits of response as of April 16, 2013, the first day of full hearings of the NPP/Akufo-Addo petition, can only point in one direction; a time-buying concession of defeat or no contest.
But as to how much time the Mahama-Afari Gyan and NDC collaborative team will be able to buy before being sent packing out of the Flagstaff House, remains to be seen.
___________________________________________________ Kwame Okoampa-Ahoofe, Jr., Ph.D. Department of English Nassau Community College of SUNY Garden City, New York April 21, 2013 E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org