Spokesperson for the President’s legal team in the ongoing election petition hearing at the Supreme Court, Mr Frank Davies, has told lawyers of the petitioners that the Supreme Court is not the forum for organized, rehearsed and choreographed theatricals and drama.He said it is a place for real hard, and serious legal work.
Mr Davies said also that the apex court has been very tolerant with the petitioner, Mr John Dramani Mahama.
His comment comes after the court ordered the petitioner in the ongoing Presidential Election Petition, John Dramani Mahama, to file his witness statements and arguments in response to the preliminary objection raised by the respondents latest by Wednesday, January 27.
The court also expressed dissatisfaction with the conduct of the petitioner and warned it will take appropriate actions against him if he fails to comply with the order to file the witness statements and arguments by the given deadline.
These actions, the court said could include the dismissal of the petition.
The court ordered during its last sitting on Wednesday, January 20, that all parties file their witness statement by Thursday noon, an order the counsel for the petitioner, Lawyer Tsatsu Tsikata contended was too short a time.
The petitioner had also filed a motion seeking a review of the ruling the court gave on the petitioner’s earlier application for interrogatories, but that motion was not granted.
Between the last sitting and today, the petitioners again filed a motion insisting on a review of the court’s ruling on the interrogatories and also to amend paragraph 28 of the original petition as well as add to it.
The court adjourned the case to Thursday, January 28.
Speaking to the media after proceedings, Mr Frank Davies said “The language used by my good friend Tony Lithur, (a lawyer for the petitioner) this morning was a bit offensive. To say that an application before the court has been predetermined is rather unfortunate coming from my good friend, of course a very senior member of the bar. But the court did not take it kindly to that.
“As it is now, the court has been gracious and very lenient to the petitioner because he has been given another opportunity to correct the wrong.
“The petitioner has been ordered to file his witness statements by close of day tomorrow which is Wednesday. The petition has been adjourned to the 28th of January for hearing which is Thursday.
“We are all legal practitioners; the Supreme Court is a very busy place. The Supreme Court is not the forum for organized, rehearsed and choreographed theatricals and drama. It is a place for real hard, and serious legal work.
“It is not for flying of literature and dull English devoid of any legal merit. I want to advise my colleagues from the other side that if it hasn’t been broken, don’t attempt to fix it. We are ready for them on Thursday.”
But reacting to his comments also in an interview with the media, spokesperson for the petitioner’s lawyers, Dr Dominic Ayine said “I want to record our disappointment with respect to the language used this morning by senior member of the bar and former President of the Greater Accra Regional, Mr Frank Davies.
“The language that he employed this morning is unacceptable in describing the actions of the petitioners lawyers as theatricals, in describing us as persons who intend to be intransigent and disobedient to the orders of the court.
“I am sure that Mr Frank Davies knows that all the applications that we have brought are within the framework of the law. You are journalists, please do a bit of research. Read CI 99 and please tell us where in the CI99 that it is said that you don’t bring an application for a stay of proceedings. Tell us where in CI99 it is said that you cannot bring an application for interrogatories and tell us where in CI99 it is stated that as a petitioner you cannot bring interrogatory application before the court. These are all mechanism that legal; practitioners can deploy and we have employed them in a way that is not abusive of pour rights within the framework of the Supreme Court rules.
And so for him to have employed that language is most unacceptable and we take exception to what he said this morning.”
He further dismissed claims that then petition is frivolous.
“We also wish to make it clear that this is far from being frivolous and vexatious petition that His Excellency John Dramani Mahama has filed. The Impression being created by the NPP is that we came to court with a frivolous and empty petition and we are just seeking to engage in theatricals so that the petition will not be heard. HE John Dramani Mahama is far from being such a person.”