Election Petition: Why the Supreme Court dismissed Mahama’s 12 interrogatories
The Supreme Court on Tuesday, January 19, dismissed the petitioner’s request directed at the 1st respondent, namely the Electoral Commission, to interrogate Jean Mensa, their Chairperson, regarding “what actually happened” during the declaration of the presidential election results.
The legal process which was filed at the Supreme Court on Monday, January 18, under a procedure called “Discovery” with a specific subset called “Interrogatories” sought to ask “12 questions” about the processes leading up to the declaration of results as explained in the EC’s own response to the petition.
Moving the motion, Tsatsu Tsikata, the lead counsel for the petitioner, told the Supreme Court that the objective of the application was to “narrow down” the issues for the trial.
But the Court presided over by the Chief Justice, Kwasi Anin Yeboah, dismissed the application with the view that the crucial issues of relevance had not been established by the petitioner.
The “Certified True Copy” of the ruling obtained by GhanaWeb is reproduced here verbatim as follows:
“The Petitioner/Applicant has prayed this Court to grant the application to serve interrogatories. The basis for the application as argued by learned Counsel for the Petitioner/Applicant is to assist the Court to narrow issues for the trial of this petition.
Interrogatories under Common Law is discretionary, it should be granted or refused when all the circumstances are taken into consideration. It should be noted that the questions seek to elicit answers to the issues raised by and the reliefs sought in the petition. Interrogatories must be relevant to the issues and relate to the matter in controversy between the parties, in this case, the petitioner and the 1st Respondent.
The Court is of the opinion that the crucial issue of relevancy has not been established in this application. Reference was made to the 2013 Election Petition titled: NANA ADDO DANKWA AKUFO-ADDO & 2 ORS VRS JOHN DRAMANI MAHAMA & 2 ORS  SCGLR 50, in which an application to serve interrogatories was granted by this court. However, subsequent to 2013, several statutory amendments have been made by C.I. 99 of 2016 which has restricted the practice and procedure of this Court as regards Election Petitions.
Indeed, Rule 69(c)(4) of the Supreme Court Amendment Rules C.I. 99 directs the expeditious disposal of the Petition and sets timelines for this Court to dispose of (sic) the Petition. It implies that even amendments ought not to be sought and granted as well as joinder of parties. Subsequent statutory amendments pointed out after 2013 have provided us with [a] new procedural regime and strict timelines.
We are strictly bound to comply with C.I. 99 and therefore we will not apply Order 22 of C.I. 47 of 2004 in this circumstance. We accordingly refuse to grant the application and same is accordingly dismissed.”
Let the issues for determination be filed by tomorrow before 9.30 am. Hearing of the petition is adjourned to 9.30 am on 20th January, 20121.” – ghanaweb