Be serious next time and don’t waste our time – Ayikoi Otoo to Mahama

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Ghana High Commissioner to Canada Nii Ayikoi Otoo has advised former President John Dramani Mahama to focus on winning the election at the polling station instead of “wasting out time” in court.

According to him, the election petition should teach John Mahama that elections are won at the polling station and not in the court rooms.

To him, the petition was a wasteful exercise which the country should not have been made to go through.

This is contained in a Facebook post by the renown lawyer and NPP member, after the final ruling of the Supreme Court on John Mahama’s election petition.

The Supreme Court completely dismissed the petition by a 7-0 unanimous vote, saying that the petition is without merit.

John Mahama has since rubbished the ruling as an embarrassment on the country’s justice and electoral system.

But Ayikoi Otoo thinks the former president only went on a time wasting journey.

Below is the full Facebook post:

The first time I saw the reliefs the Petitioner was seeking from the court, I opined that the NDC leadership had misled their supporters and therefore called on former President Mahama to apologize to Ghanaians.

How could they have endangered the lives of their supporters calling upon them to protect the ballots because their win was being stolen from them? Then after the counting to say that they had won the Parliamentary by over 140 seats and won the Presidential as well.

They called on their supporters to evade the premises of EC to compel the EC to change the announced results in favour of Mahama; evade the streets of Ghana to demonstrate on daily basis until the results were reversed; but for the timely intervention of the Police and the court; held several press conferences to inform Ghanaians NDC had won the elections, only to file a Petition after several calls on them to go to Court, to say no candidate got more than 50+ and therefore there must be a re-run of the presidential elections between the NDC and NPP candidates in order to determine the winner.

Upon what figures were they telling their supporters and Ghanaians they had won the elections? Now reading the substance of the Petition, it was clear that the NDC wanted to rely on an error in figures as announced on the 9th December 2020 without acknowledging that on the 10th December the error was corrected because according to them, the correction was by a press release not signed and further that they were not consulted.

Again, in spite of boldly declaring that they had Agents in all the several polling stations who signed the Pink Sheets and certified the Regional Summary Sheets, they refused to tell Ghanaians their collated results in the run up to the hearing and in court, their Star witness said they were not in court to challenge the figures and didn’t have the collated figures or how much valid votes their Candidates got from their own collation. Remember that some including myself, kept challenging them to produce their collated results to counter what the EC had announced because official duty is presumed to have been officially performed, but the NDC would have non of that. I warned that a lawyer is as good as his brief. They played to the gallery and gave passionate press briefings after every court session.

Some of us kept repeating that the Petition was without merit and the Supreme Court has today so declared. In 2013, I was in charge of many of the Parliamentary result challenges mounted by the NPP. Immediately, the Supreme Court decided the Presidential, I advised against proceeding with the Parliamentary ones and filed notice of discontinuance.

From the allocation of the burden of proof and the fact that in most cases, our polling agents signed the Pink Sheets which act the Supreme Court held was binding on the candidates ,I didn’t see how we would succeed if we proceeded. In this case, having affirmed that no candidate obtained more than 50% and therefore bore the burden of proof and persuasion, the NDC refused to assist the Court with any collated figures rather wanting the chair person of EC to assist them with figures they already had in their possession. Didn’t the NDC candidates sign the Pink Sheets and the Regional and National Summary Sheets and are their acts not binding on the NDC?

Overall, this has been a wasteful exercise and we ought not follow that path any no longer. Elections are won at the Polling Stations not in Court. Except where there is abundant evidence don’t go to court. Petition dismissed as without merit!!!!

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