Communications Minister, Haruna Iddrisu has indicated that he now feels relieved after weeks of threat by the New Patriotic Party to storm the Supreme Court with their evidence of electoral fraud in the 2012 elections.
Dr Mahamudu Bawumia, vice presidential candidate of the NPP in the 2012 elections, at a press conference Friday catalogued what he said were examples of irregularities in the December 7 presidential election.
According to him, over voting alone accounted for 620,443 votes, voting without verification, 456,933, words and figures that did not match accounted for 3,841 votes.
He said a total of all these irregularities amounted to 1,340,018 illegal ballots.
But Mr Iddrisu told Joy News : “Absolutely, it gives me good sleep, like an anesthesia for any concerned Ghanaian that this is trifle on the part of the New Patriotic Party.”
He said he was “disappointed” in Nana Akufo-Addo, a “respected lawyer”, for failing to allow the Supreme Court to determine the merit of the matter after the party petitioned it, but rather decided to take his case to the court of public opinion, “without telling us what he expects the Ghanaian public to do”.
This, according to the Communications Minister, shows that the NPP and its leadership “do not respect the sanctity and the respectability of our highest court. This is not a matter where they want a public judgment on it.”
He said most of the concerns raised by Dr Mahamudu Bawumia are pre election issues, and also pointed out that the total number of votes cast in this year’s election was less than 12 million, but said the NPP made reference to 14 million to indicate that the voters register was bloated.
“This is simply pre-election issue that they ought to have resolved and a matter that they could have resolved,” he said.
In any case, he maintained, “I do not see even how that betters their argument of fraud," adding that "the number of voters were less than what is on the voters register.”
He argued that the evidence put out by the NPP would not fly in court, “I just think that the NPP and Nana Addo is preparing a re-launch of his bid for 2016 and trying to use this to justify that he pretty did well in the election.”
President can be sued
President John Mahama
Meanwhile, many have raised question whether President Mahama who is the first respondent in the NPP’s suit can be sued.
But a law lecturer at the University of Ghana, Mr Kissi Adjabeng told Joy News it would be a misconception to state that the President is insulated from suit.
Nevertheless, he explained, the president cannot be held personally liable for any suit be it criminal or civil.
He said that the president was joined in the suit because the law says the person whose election is being called into question should be made the first respondent and Electoral Commission the second respondent, “so he is not being sued as the president but the president-elect”.
Mr Adjabeng said the petition filed by the NPP would not affect the swearing in of President Mahama, neither would its outcome prejudice actions taken by the president.
“If the ruling goes in his favour then nothing changes, he goes on to become the president, but if the ruling does not go in his favour and it turns either we go for a second round or that his main challenger is declared the president, rather than him then whatever he’s done as president before that declaration remains intact – because he did it as president.”