By Emmanuel Kwame Amoh
Lead counsel to the petitioner in the 2020 election petition Tsatsu Tsikata has broken his silence on the judgement delivered by the Supreme Court on Thursday, March 4.
He said the underlying principle of Ghana’s constitution appears to have been undermined as it enjoins public officials to be accountable. Therefore, the decision by the Supreme Court, he said, is an “aberration”.
Mr Tsikata was speaking in an interview on Pan African TV on the KSM Show on Sunday, March 14.
The Court in its judgement unanimously dismissed the petition filed by the 2020 Presidential Candidate of the National Democratic Congress (NDC), John Dramani Mahama, who sought an annulment of the results and a rerun between him and eventual winner Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo.
According to the President of the Court, Justice Kwasi Anin Yeboah, who is also Ghana’s Chief Justice, the petitioner did not adduce enough evidence to have the reliefs he was seeking granted.
But barely a week after the judgement, lawyer Tsikata believes a “dangerous precedent” has been set.
“And that’s why I would humbly say that it’s a dangerous precedent because what it means essentially is that in any future election, a Chairperson and the Returning Officer can come and make an announcement with numbers which nobody can really explain and those numbers do not also meet the constitutional threshold of 50%+1 and later come and say there was a mistake and there is no explanation as to how those mistakes occurred.”
He said the decision will not stand the test of time, sooner or later.
“And I think they won’t stand the test of time because when you look at the framework of the constitution that we have and the way in which that framework seeks to make public officials accountable, it is difficult to square that constitutional framework with decisions which just put a shield [and] a cordon around public officials and does not enable them to step forward to give account of what they have done.
“I think the whole constitution that we have seeks to enhance accountability of public officials. That’s a very important, underlying principles and therefore if you have a decision that do not advance that, then I will think that in the long run they will be seen as a n aberration.
“They won’t stand the test of time in my view but we will see. The test of time is a long time and we may not be around.”