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Diasporian News of Thursday, 11 April 2013

Source: Concerned Ghanaians inUK

Concerned Ghanaians in UK petition Supreme Court

A group calling itself the Concerned Ghanaians against Electoral Fraud (COGEF) based in UK have petitioned the Chief Justice, Her Lordship Mrs Georgina Wood, to put plans in place to ensure an expeditious trial of the petition challenging the general election results. The group plans to demonstrate in London tomorrow 12th April 2013 from 10am to 2pm, and present copies of petitions to the Ghana High Commission in London at 13 Belgrave Square, No 10 Downing St., Foreign and Commonwealth Office, Department for International Development and the EU representative in UK.

In an advanced copy to the Supreme Court, the group urged the Supreme Court to assert itself since it was the last bastion of Ghana’s democracy. The group will tomorrow ask for support from the international community for the Supreme Court by supporting its deliberations by providing representations to observe the process and encourage law and order with expeditious process in dealing with the petitioned case in court.

They also will be asking them to support the outcome that produces justice and ultimately lasting peace and stability, not necessarily the status quo which may have weak foundation.

They will also ask them to support the path taken by Opposition leaders, through use of your considerable diplomatic relations and leverage to impact government's actions in leaving the judiciary unhampered. After all the resort to legal redress by these parties has ensured lasting peace for Ghana and ought to be encouraged.

On the part of the Supreme Court, the group asked the Chief Justice to act with boldness, speed and urgency in this matter. As the saying goes - Justice delayed is Justice denied. They also asked the court to act in an honest and independent manner to apply the law to the facts and evidence before it without fear or favour in arriving a resolution to the petition presented. They said that indeed the Supreme Court holds the keys to continued peace in the country and should so ensure by allowing its application of justice in this petition to be seen to have be done.

Below is the full petition

OFFICE OF THE CHIEF JUSTICE JUDICIAL SERVICE OF GHANA ACCRA

EMAIL: info@judicial.gov.gh

Dear Madam,

GHANAIAN RESIDENTS IN THE UK PETITION FOR EXPEDITIOUS PROCESS ON THE PRESIDENTIAL ELECTION CHALLENGE AT THE SUPREME COURT IN GHANA


Preamble:

We the Ghanaian community in United Kingdom are hereby petitioning your good offices to ensure the speedy resolution of the Petition filed at the Supreme Court by the Leader of the Ghanaian Opposition, Nana Ado Danka Akufo-Addo, his running mate and the Chairman of the New Patriotic Party (NPP) challenging the validity of the Presidential election results by the Ghanaian Electoral Commission following our general elections which took place on 7th& 8th December 2012.

The Supreme Court is the last bastion of our democracy and we are appealing for national and international support for its deliberations in this matter. This is because the petition before the court has been subjected to numerous deliberate delays by the three respondents, the Electoral Commission, Mr John Mahama (President declared) and the NDC party, making our Supreme Court very slow in its process and hence causing undue political tension in the country.

Although a date for the commencement of the substantive case has now been set for 16th April 2013, the delays in court leading up to this latest stage gives us real cause for concern. It is our fear that the Supreme Court may further entertain deliberate delay tactics from all or any of the Respondents when the case commences in a cynical bid to slow down the court process. This fear is shared with Ghanaians home and abroad. This situation, coupled with the current dire socio-economic conditions in Ghana where citizens are going without very basic necessities like water, gas and electricity, is causing unhealthy tension in the country. Consequently, we Ghanaians in the UK are becoming increasingly concerned about the possible direction of the country if nothing is done to arrest things.

Background

The petition at the Supreme Court clearly suggests that fraudulent votes were added to advantage Mr John Mahama who was declared the winner by the Chairman of the Ghana Electoral Commission, despite the fact that Commission’s attention was drawn to the obvious fraud that had taken place even before half of the results was declared, prompted by some political parties in Ghana. Even before the commencement of the hearing at the Supreme Court, the Electoral Commission has failed to account for over 241,000 registered voters which the commission claims were the Ghanaians registered abroad. This huge number mysteriously appeared in the final electoral register but could not be accounted for, notwithstanding the fact that the Electoral Commission had earlier indicated that no Ghanaian abroad could vote since the Representation of the People Act law which gives the right to Ghanaians abroad to register and vote was not implemented.

It is a known fact that transfer of power in Africa has most often been critical issue. Recently, several countries have imploded and descended into chaos and violence when their leaders refused to step down or accept electoral defeat; e.g. our nearby country Ivory Coast and other countries like Kenya, Egypt, Zimbabwe, Libya, among others. Some have refused outright to hold elections but others hold and steal elections.

Electoral fraud is a subversion of our constitution and every constitution for that matter, which seeks to infuriates the majority of people whose votes have been stolen from them and provoke to pour their anger in diverse means. Such expressions invariably escalate and turn violent - oftentimes degenerating into mayhem with bloodshed, loss of lives and destruction of property.

It is important to draw your attention to the fraud and irregularities that have characterized the 2012 Presidential Elections in our country which by all standards is unprecedented in our political history. Indeed, the third runner-up of the declared elections results, leader of the Progressive People’s Party (PPP), Dr Paa Kwesi Nduom is on record to have said, "I have been involved in elections since 1992 and this is the worst in terms of credibility”.

The NPP also contends that its presidential candidate, Nana Akufo-Addo, will be declared the rightful winner, if the Supreme Court sides with its petition and annuls illegal and invalid votes which favoured the president declared, resulting from

  • Over voting at some polling stations


  • Voting without biometric verification


  • Falsification of polling stations results by the Electoral Commission officials


  • Using of duplicate sets of polling stations results declaration forms that have same serial numbers as the actual polling stations but different results declaration forms.


  • Declaration forms not signed, as required by law, by the presiding officers


  • Same polling station code but different sheets different results


  • 28 locations where voting took place not on the list 0f 26,002 polling stations officially created for the elections.


  • Unsubstantiated votes amounting to 241,000 purportedly representing Ghanaians registered abroad. Despite the Supreme Court's order to justify this, the Electoral Commission has failed to do so


We have also drawn to the attention of the International Community that the 2012 elections in Ghana were free of violence but not fair. In nearly 46% or 11,916 of the 26,002 polling stations where voting took place, the elections was marred by gross and widespread violations, omissions, malpractices and irregularities which fundamentally impugned the validity of the results in those polling stations.

With the delays at the Supreme Court regarding the petition and the current socio-political tension in the country, we Ghanaians in UK are becoming increasingly concerned about the direction of their country.

PETITION TO THE SUPREME COURT OF GHANA

We, the Concerned Ghanaians against Electoral Fraud (COGEF) based here in UK, having observed the 2012 elections and the post-election evidence gathering and the court deliberations, hereby present petition to the Supreme Court of Ghana to consider and take the following into serious consideration:
  • The Supreme Court must act with boldness, speed and urgency in this matter. As the saying goes - Justice delayed is Justice denied!


  • The Supreme Court is the last bastion of our democracy and therefore an institution of great relevance and august importance and should so assert itself as such.


  • The expectation of the Ghanaian people is that the Supreme Court will act in an honest and independent manner to apply the law to the facts and evidence before it without fear or favour in arriving a resolution to the petition presented.


  • Indeed the Supreme Court holds the keys to continued peace in the country and should so ensure by allowing its application of justice in this petition to be seen to have be done.


  • We have also petitioned the UK and EU governments to support the legal process by the following actions:

    Support our Supreme Court in its deliberations by providing representations to observe the process and encourage law and order with expeditious process in dealing with petitioned case in court.

  • Support the outcome that produces justice and ultimately lasting peace and stability, not necessarily the status quo which may have weak foundation.


  • Support the path taken by Opposition leaders, through use of your considerable diplomatic relations and leverage to impact government's actions in leaving the judiciary unhampered. After all the resort to legal redress by these parties has ensured lasting peace for Ghana and ought to be encouraged.


Finally, we wish to reaffirm our confidence in Ghana’s Judiciary. Ghanaians expect nothing but the truth from the Nine Eminent Judges of the Supreme Court who will adjudicate over the petition. The future survival of this great country of ours depends on their arriving at a fair decision which will be acceptable to all including the international community. It is therefore, our prayer that you will arrive at a decision guided by the principle of fairness, transparency and the fear of God.

Signed on behalf of Concerned Ghanaians against Electoral Fraud (COGEF) UK:

Email contact: concernedghanaiansuk.cogef@gmail.com

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