A spokesperson for President Akufo-Addo’s legal team in the ongoing election petition hearing, Kojo Oppong Nkrumah says their side is disappointed at a new motion of notice filed by the petitioner, John Dramani Mahama.
With barely 24 hours for the apex court to begin the trial on Tuesday, John Mahama through his lawyers has filed an application seeking an additional ground of review to replace paragraph 28 of the original statement of case and file a supplement to the statement of case.
The petitioner and his legal team by this move are basically seeking to file another ground to support the review application on the interrogatories they intend to serve on the 1st Respondent, the Electoral Commission (EC).
But reacting to this on Eyewitness News, the Information Minister-designate who had in an earlier tweet described the latest development as “very unfortunate” said, although the government is not surprised by the move of the petitioner, the current turn of events is disappointing.
“The court has given Tuesday to complete pre-trial and then give the necessary orders to start the hearing. We are already behind schedule but this afternoon, we were informed that the lawyers of Mr. Mahama have filed a new process aimed at amending some of their previous processes, and we have been served accordingly.”
He further backed his point saying, the new application is another ploy by the petitioners to delay the hearing of the substantive case at the Supreme Court.
“The effect will be that we are going to have a further delay in this enterprise. That is why we are a bit not surprised because it is becoming obvious that the tactic of the John Mahama team is always to occasion delays and find a way of preventing us from going unto the substantive matter. So we are not surprised, but we are disappointed that they keep playing these legal tricks”, he added.
Paragraph 28 of the petitioners’ initial review document states among others that “there is no reference in rule 69(c) 4 of CI 99 to amendments. It is rather 69 A (6) which provides as follows.”
In the proposed new paragraph “it rather” quotes 68(7) instead of the 69A(6) as earlier quoted.
“We have filed a response to the original statement of case. Having read our response, what they are trying to do is to use the back door to file a reply and also to amend and substitute their original paragraph with a new paragraph 28 after they have filed a response to their statement of case. Our lawyers will make the necessary submissions in court tomorrow, but we are not surprised but disappointed that they are going round in circles just trying to delay us from getting to the substantive five issues that the court says are in question. We are not surprised that they are doing this”, Oppong Nkrumah added.