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Supreme Court hears NDC joinder to petition today
From: Ghana | Daily Graphic          Published On: January 16, 2013, 05:30 GMT
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Supreme Court hears NDC joinder to petition today

Barring any last-minute hitch, the much-awaited hearing of the National Democratic Congress (NDC) motion to join a petition challenging the results of the December 7, 2012 presidential election will commence at the Supreme Court in Accra today, January 16, 2013.

The motion, which was originally billed for Thursday, January 10, 2013, had to be adjourned sine die when lawyers for the petitioning New Patriotic Party (NPP) had objected to the composition of the panel.

But the objection was withdrawn barely 24 hours after it had been raised in camera by one of the lawyers for the petitioners, Mr. Philip Addison.

Following the withdrawal of the objection, the registrar of the Supreme Court served both parties’ lawyers with hearing notices on Monday, January 14, 2013.

A date for the hearing of the substantive petition will be fixed after the court has heard and determined whether or not to allow the NDC to join in its capacity as a political party.

Unlike in the past, when the Supreme Court was opened to the public, attendance at today's proceedings will be strictly by invitation and under very heavy security.

There will be a large number of security personnel to maintain law and order from the streets through to the Supreme Court compound and the inner perimeter of the court building.

Scanners will be placed at the lower and upper floors of the Supreme Court. People will be thoroughly searched, while cellular phones and the use of other electronic gadgets will be prohibited inside the courtroom.

Only accredited journalists, lawyers, party functionaries and members of the public will be allowed entry into the courtroom.

Former Attorney-General and Minister of Justice Gloria Akuffo is leading the legal team for the petitioners, while Tony Lithur and Tsatsu Tsikata are leading a number of lawyers to make a case for the President and the NDC, respectively.

The EC will be represented by its lead counsel, James Quashie-Idun.

A nine-member panel, presided over by Mr Justice William Atuguba, with Mr Justice Julius Ansah, Mrs Justice Sophia Adinyira, Ms Justice Rose Owusu, Mr Justice Jones Dotse, Mr Justice Annin Yeboah, Mr P. Baffoe- Bonnie, Mr Justice N. S. Gbadegbe and Mrs Justice Vida Akoto-Bamfo, as panel members, is expected to hear the motion on whether or not the NDC should be allowed to join the petition.

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