Review of Supreme Court verdict unlikely – Sam Okudzeto
Contrary to expectations of many Ghanaians, there would likely not be a review of the verdict of the Supreme Court on the election petition, a legal luminary said on Friday.
Mr Sam Okudzeto, Former President of the Ghana Bar Association who made the statement said the Supreme Court was the last court of resort in the land and could not therefore review its own decision.
He was speaking at the National Peace Summit organised in Accra by the National Peace Council (NPC), the Manhyia Palace, the Civic Forum Initiative (CFI) and the Institute of Democratic Governance (IDEG).
The purpose of the Summit was to educate Ghanaians on issues of justice and peace and how the ingredients could strengthen democratic governance in the country.
It was on the theme: “Justice, Peace and Reforms will Strengthen Ghana”.
Mr Okudzeto stressed that though he expected no review or appeal of the verdict to be delivered by the judges hearing the election petition, “i will leave the decision to the judges”.
“But a review of the verdict is unlikely.”
The Election Petition hearing which began on 16th April 2013, had spanned 46 days.
The petition was filed by Nana Akuffo Addo, the Presidential candidate of the New Patriotic Party (NPP), his running mate, Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia and Jake Obetsebi Lamprey, Chairman of the NPP.
The three petitioners are praying the Supreme Court to overturn the results declared by Dr Kwadwo Afari Gyan, Chairman of the Electoral Commission (EC) making President John Mahama of the National Democratic Congress (NDC) the winner of the 2012 elections.
Speaking on sentences the judges of the Supreme Court served on individuals deemed to have made contemptuous statements on the election petition hearing, Mr Okudzeto commended the judges for stamping their authority to sanitise the media of hate speech and attacks on political opponents.
“The way the media is writing now shows that they knew the right things but were not doing it,” he said.
Mr Okudzeto called on all parties to the election petition therefore to accept the judgement from the judges sitting on the election petition.
Archbishop Charles Palmer-Buckle, who doubles as the Metropolitan Archbishop for the Catholic Archdiocese of Accra and the President of the Ghana Conference of Religions for Peace called on the entire citizenry to put their difference aside and pray for peace.
He said peace needed to be cultivated, built, sacrificed and prayed for.
Most Reverend Professor Emmanuel Asante, Chairman of the National Peace Council called on Ghanaians to move forward together as a nation no matter the outcome of the election petition.
Major General Carl Coleman, Chairman of the CFI called on participants to append their signature to the peace pledge.
There were peace pledges from the various political parties.
The participants, numbering in their hundreds, signed onto the National Summit Outcome Document, a resolution for peace, and were spotted waving their miniature flags amidst applause after the event.
The Summit was well patronised by representations from parliament, political parties, members of the diplomatic corps and civil society groups.