The 2020 Presidential election petition filed by former President John Dramani Mahama opened today with highlights including an adjudicating panel comprised of seven Justices of the Supreme Court, six of whom are appointees of President Akufo-Addo.
Only one of the judges sitting on the case, Justice Yaw Appau, was appointed to the Supreme Court by former President John Mahama.
The panel is presided over by Chief Justice Kwesi Anin Yeboah, who was first appointed to the Supreme Court by former President Kufuor in 2008 and later elevated to Chief Justice by President Akufo-Addo in January 2019.
Justices Marful Sau, Nene Amegatcher and Prof. Kotei were all appointed to the Supreme Court by President Akufo-Addo in July 2018, while Justices Mariama Owusu and Gertrude Torkonoo were also appointed to the Supreme Court in December 2019.
Justice Yaw Appau had received his appointment to the apex court in June 2015.
Dr. Raymond Atuguba, a legal luminary and longtime don of the University of Ghana Law School has observed that appointees to the Supreme Court tend to judge favorably for their appointing President in political cases because they feel beholden to such appointing authorities.
Dr. Atuguba has therefore suggested that Ghanaians stop behaving like ostriches and allow themselves to be exampled by the United States’ mode of appointments to the Supreme Court which acknowledges that judges are also political animals and therefore ensures that appointments are configured to attain ideological balance at the apex court.
However, his suggestion has since been rejected.
Meanwhile, in court today, the crème de la crème of the country’s legal beagles were on the rooster. Former President Mahama’s legal team was led by Tsatsu Tsikata, celebrated as the best defense lawyer in Africa. Mr. Tsikata is said to have lectured most of the judges on the panel hearing the case, including Chief Justice Kwesi Anin Yeboah.
Also on the Mahama team was layer Tony Lithur, from whose Chambers is former Attorney General, Marietta Brew Appiah-Oppong. Earlier, a list of lawyers that the NDC published also included Abraham Amaliba.
For the first Respondent, the Electoral Commission, Lawyers Justin Amenuvor and A.A. Somoah served as Counsels.
President Akufo-Addo’s lead counsel is the respected Akoto Ampaw with lawyers Frank Davis, Kweku Essilfie, and Yaw Oppong also in the corner of the President.