One of the spokespersons for John Dramnani Mahama, the petitioner in the ongoing election dispute hearing, Dr. Dominic Ayine says their legal team will not create room for the petition they have filed at the Supreme Court to be struck out.
He said they will therefore comply and file their witness statements by close of Wednesday, January 27, 2021, as instructed by the apex court.
It follows the Supreme Court’s final orders to the petitioner to file his five witness statements by the above date or have his case dismissed.
This was after Mr. Mahama failed to comply with an earlier directive issued last week to file the processes by January 21, 2021, to enable hearing of the substantive matter commenced today [January 26, 2021].
Speaking to the media after today’s hearing, Dr. Ayine admitted that the legal representation of the petitioner has taken cognizance of the repercussions of failing to do as instructed hence will abide by the Supreme Court’s order.
“We are prepared, the witness statements will be filed with all its exhibits by close of day tomorrow. We are fully aware of the consequences of rule 79 of the Supreme Court rules. It is a rule that cuts across from the district court all the way to the Supreme Court and as lawyers, we are very much aware that if you fail to take a step ordered by the court, the court within its jurisdiction and power can dismiss your application of the case that you have brought.”
“So we are very much aware of it, but we don’t intend to bring about a situation that will trigger the application of rule 79. The witness statements will accordingly be filed tomorrow, and I am very sure that the public will have copies of the witness statements”, Dr. Ayine added.
Ayine bares teeth with Frank Davies
Reiterating the impact the leave for interrogatories on the Electoral Commission [1st Respondent] will have on the nature of the kind of witness statements will be filed, not filing the statements as earlier directed for him was not “out of disrespect for the court“, he explained.
Dr. Ayine also took exception to comments by Frank Davies, a member of President Akufo-Addo’s legal team who accused the petitioners of using “theatricals” to delay the hearing of the substantive matter.
“I want to record our disappointment with respect to the language used this morning by a senior member of the bar and former President of the Greater Accra Regional, Mr Frank Davies. The language that he employed this morning is unacceptable in describing the actions of the petitioner’s lawyers as theatricals, in describing us as persons who intend to be intransigent and disobedient to the orders of the court”, he fumed.
Petition not empty
Commenting further on proceedings so far, Dr. Ayine disagreed with assertions by the New Patriotic Party (NPP) that John Mahama’s petition was “frivolous and vexatious”.
“The impression being created by the NPP is that we came to court with a frivolous and empty petition, and we are just seeking to engage in theatricals so that the petition will not be heard. HE John Dramani Mahama is far from being such a person.”