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Tsatsu Tsikata's 'retroactive penalty' claims is alien to the law - Lawyer
From: Ghana | Myjoyonline.com| Nathan Gadugah          Published On: August 7, 2013, 14:42 GMT
 
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Tsatsu Tsikata's 'retroactive penalty' claims is alien to the law - Lawyer

Sophia Akuffo


A member of the legal team of the New Patriotic Party has taken poke-shot at Tsatsu Tsikata for suggesting that the Petitioners involved in the Presidential Election Petition are seeking an imposition of a "retroactive penalty" on innocent voters in the 2012 general elections.

Gloria Akuffo said "retroactive penalty" is not only alien to her as a lawyer but a strange legal principle espoused in court Wednesday by counsel for the 3rd respondent.

"I plead ignorance on retroactive penalty," she told Joy FM hours after the parties involved in the Election Petition had made oral submissions on their final addresses to the court.

She added that judges can only hear and adjudicate on a matter that has happened already and which parties are divided over and are seeking a verdict.

Tsikata told the Supreme Court, Wednesday, the Petitioners have admitted that none of the voters did anything wrong. He said they also admitted that no one voted more than once and yet they are asking that valid votes be annulled.

He said the demands by the Petitioners are nothing but a request for the judges to impose a retroactive penalty on innocent voters who went to queue in the sun to vote, a request that is not backed by law and should not be taken seriously.

A member of the NDC legal team, Victor Adawudu agreed with his lead counsel in court. He told Joy FM that innocent voters cannot be punished for the sins of presiding officers.

He said the Petitioners' definition of over-voting was completely alien to the law adding, the justices can only determine the case on the basis of law, case law and justice.

Whilst his lawyers were engaged in a last gasp advocacy to convince the judges that the 2012 elections were free and fair, the first Respondent, President John Mahama took his case to the Chief Imam pleading his innocence and claiming that the elections were truly free and fair.

President Mahama added he will abide by whatever decision the judges of the Supreme Court arrive at.

In a response, Gloria Akuffo told Joy News, Tsikata cannot talk about retroactive penalty because no judge rules on a case that has not happened. Something has to happen for the judges to rule on, she insisted.

She added that in all her legal education, she has never heard of retroactive penalty. On the contrary, it is retroactive legislation-passing a law today and asking that the new law takes retroactive effect - which is common and known to all.

Akuffo added President Mahama cannot plead innocence when in fact he ordered people to vote without being verified and it appeared his order was carried out as was shown by the Petitioners.




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