General News Sat, 24 Aug 2013

Going to court is the most civilized way of securing peace – NDC Lawyer

A member of the governing National Democratic Congress legal team has dismissed calls on the parties to the presidential election petition not to seek a review of the Supreme Court’s verdict on the case, slated for August 29, 2013.

Abraham Amaliba says it “doesn’t lie in the mouth of the IEA (Institute for Economic Affairs) - which made the call - to pontificate that persons should not go for a review; it is the parties alone who have that option” of deciding whether or not to go for a review.

Mr Amaliba was contributing to a discussion on MultiTV and Joy FM’s news analysis programme, Newsfile, Saturday, August 24, 2013.

The IEA this week issued a statement in which it demanded commitment from the petitioners, who are challenging the declaration of John Mahama as winner of the 2012 presidential elections, and the respondents who are defending the declaration, that they will not seek a review of the ruling of the Supreme Court.

The IEA said seeking a review would exacerbate the tensions in the country and further polarize the nation. But Mr. Amaliba said the call had neither legal nor constitutional basis.

“One argument they (IEA) make which I disagree with is that for the sake of the peace of this country [the losing party] shouldn’t go for a review; how can they equate going to court to breaching the peace? I think that going to court is by far the most civilized way of ensuring peace and the framers of this constitution knew that,” he stated.

Reminded by host of Newsfile, Mr. Samson Lardy Ayenini that his party, the NDC, had accused the petitioners of heightening the political tensions and undermining the economy by bringing the petition, Mr. Amaliba said every action had repercussions.

Whether or not the parties go for a review there are consequences, he noted.

Three leaders of the opposition New Patriotic Party - Nana Akufo-Addo, Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia and Jake Obetsebi-Lamptey have petitioned the Supreme Court seeking to overturn the outcome of the December 2012 Presidential election.

President Mahama, the Electoral Commission and the NDC are the 1st, 2nd and 3r respondents respectively.

A panel of nine justices of the Supreme Court, after 48 days of hearing and legal maneuverings and poring over tones of papers of evidence and legal material is set to give its verdict on August 29, 2013.

Fears of sporadic violence after the verdict have led to the police deploying 32,000 men across the country to maintain the peace in any eventuality.

Source: Joy Online