You cannot sacrifice justice for expedition-Tsikata to SC judges
Lead Counsel for former President John Dramani Mahama in the election petition, lawyer Tsatsu Tsikata has expressed displeasure in the orders and timelines by the Supreme Court in hearing the matter.
The respected lawyer says the court was paving way for an expedition of justice without considering justice.
His remarks were made after the Apex Court set out the issues and orders for the hearing of the 2020 presidential petition.
The Supreme Court of Ghana has set out the issues for the election petition hearing and the determination on the natter
The court will consider whether or not the petition discloses any reasonable cause of action; whether or not based on the data contained in the declaration of the 1st Respondent and the 2nd Respondent (President) as President-Elect no candidate obtained more than 50% of the valid votes cast as required by Article 63 (3) of the 1992 Constitution.
The court will also consider whether or not the second respondent still met Article 63 (3) of the 1992 Constitution threshold by the exclusion or inclusion of the Techiman South Constituency Presidential election results.
It is also to consider whether or not the first respondent, dated 9th December 2020, of the results of the presidential election conducted on December 7, 2020, violated Article 63 (3) of the 1992 Constitution and whether er or not the alleged vote padding and other errors complained of by the petitioner affected the outcome of the presidential election results of 2020.
The panel led by the Chief Justice, His Lordship Anin Yeboah reiterated they were ready to dispose of the case within strict timelines.
Given these considerations, the Apex Court gave orders for the parties in the case to follow.
On the mode of trial, witnesses are to file their witness statements with exhibits if any by noon of Thursday, the 21st of January 2021.
The witness statements shall be served on the Counsel for the respondents by the end of the day Thursday, January 21, 2021.
The respondents and their witnesses if any shall file their witness statements with exhibits if any by close day Friday, January 22, 2021.
The 1st and 2nd respondents shall file their preliminary objections raised to the petition by noon on Friday.
The petitioner shall file any response to the submissions in the objections by noon Monday, January the 25 of January 2021, the court-ordered.
The Registrar is to ensure the Service of the Petitioner’s response by the same day.
Ruling on the preliminary objection would be incorporated in the judgment of the court.
On timelines, the court shall sit on Tuesday, 26, January 2021 for the hearing.
It was at this point that Counsel Tsatsu Tsikata raised concerns over the orders saying it was unfair for the court to give them such a short time to file their witness statements.
He argued that they were humans hence it could not be possible for them to meet the deadlines.
He referred to their application for review and motion demanding for the original copies of documents from the EC but the court these applications do not operate as a stay of execution.
He added these applications could affect the case but the court insisted they would not be obliged to grant him his objection.
The case was subsequently adjourned to Tuesday, January 26, 2021.
But before the adjournment, the lawyer exclaimed, “‘justice must not be sacrificed for expedition”.
He said he did know about the schedule provided but the justices were in court to administer justice and in doing so, they should not sacrifice justice for the sake of expedition.