The Supreme Court has dismissed an application by former President John Mahama seeking allowance to inspect the documents used by the Electoral Commission (EC) in declaring winners of the December 7, 2020 presidential elections.
The controversial decision taken by the Supreme Court in the ongoing 2020 election petition makes nonsense of the EC’s own pledge on December 18, 2020, that in the spirit of fairness it will release election data to interested persons.
“We reassure the General Public that all data generated before, during, and after the Election has been preserved and will be made available to any interested party in a transparent manner when requested through the laid down process,” the EC said in the December 18 statement.
However, despite the fact that the petitioners and the opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC) has fruitlessly requested for the EC to make the data available so that an evaluation of the source documents would help ease the controversies that sparked the presidential election petition, the Supreme Court in a rather bizarre decision has urged the EC on to keep the contentious source document a secret from the petitioners.
The dismissal was unanimous, with Chief Justice Kwasi Anin Yeboah reading out the verdict.
What this means is that the EC is not going to be required to make available original copies of results collations declaration documents from which it declared the disputed election results that said Akufo-Addo had won by over 51%
The court had held that the NDC has copies of the same documents it is asking to inspect even if they are not the originals.
Justice Anin Yeboah said a grant of such application is usually discretionary and that the petitioners had not demonstrated that he did not have copies of the document.
The unanimous decision was also in favor of the Electoral Commission and President Akufo-Addo’s legal team who had opposed the application.
Interestingly, the application had arisen after the second witness for President Mahama, Mr. Johnson Asiedu Nketia, had mounted the witness box and it had been realized that the EC was giving some quotations that the NDC was not aware of.
Lawyer Tsatsu Tsikata, lead Counsel for former President Mahama then filed the application to inspect the documents that the EC was quoting the strange figures from. However, the court shot down the application even though Mr. Tsatsu Tsikata had argued inspection of the document would be in the interest of transparency.
This is the third time that the court has unanimously dismissed an application by Mr. Mahama. The first one was its refusal to allow the petitioner to serve some twelve interrogatories to the EC. The court would later unanimously uphold its ruling in a review application.
The petitioners are contesting the credibility of the EC’s source document used in declaring the just-ended presidential elections that saw Jean Mensa declare incumbent President Akufo Addo the winner.
That source data has been altered more than seven times by the EC, prompting serious issues of data massaging by the EC.
The petitioners had therefore sought to inspect the purported document that the EC had been issuing contradictory election results from.