Mahama’s petition only complains of errors, not validity of polls – Oppong Nkrumah

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A spokesperson of President Akufo-Addo’s legal team in the election petition, Kojo Oppong Nkrumah, has defended his sides view that John Mahama’s challenge of the election results is incompetent.

“It [the petition] does not attack the validity of the election as a proper election petition should do. It merely complains about errors in the formal declaration,” Mr. Oppong Nkrumah said in an interview on the Citi FM on Monday, January 11, 2021.

He insisted that Mahama’s petition only complained about “Errors such as the fact as instead of saying total votes cast she [Jean Mensa] said total valid votes. Errors such as, instead of saying 51.29 percent, she said 51.59 percent”.

Mr. Oppong Nkrumah suggested that Mr. Mahama ought to have highlighted issues that compromised the results.

“When you do an election petition, and you want to attack the validity of the election, you make the case that, the election was defective in this number of polling stations or this number of places.”

However, he said Mr. Mahama was “only complaining about the error and misspeak in the formal declaration. Even the official results, which they have signed, they are not complaining about it.”

According to the EC, President Akufo-Addo garnered 51.59 percent of the valid votes while Mr. Mahama got 47.37 percent.

Mr. Mahama wants the court to annul President Nana Akufo-Addo’s re-election saying that neither he nor the incumbent attained a clear majority during the 2020 polls.

He said this is because of the omission of the Techiman South constituency from the provisional declaration of results.

In a 12-page response, lawyers of President Akufo-Addo described Mahama’s petition as “incompetent, frivolous and vexatious” and asked the Supreme Court to dismiss it.

They argued that the claims made by Mr. Mahama “are not supported by the facts pleaded in the Petition”.

The Electoral Commission (EC) also filed its preliminary objection to Mr. Mahama in a 10-page response.

The EC acknowledged the possibility of errors but said the possible discrepancies would not have any significant effect on the final election results.

It also said Mr. Mahama in his petition erroneously depended on the total number of votes cast to make his case as being the total number of valid votes cast, an error which was inadvertently mentioned by the EC Chairperson during the declaration of the presidential result but was later corrected in a press release.

The Supreme Court is expected to empanel this week to hear the case.

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