Opinions Wed, 19 Dec 2012

Akufo-Addo and the most important legal case in Ghana’s history

By now, every Ghanaian knows that there was foul play that resulted in the Electorial Commission illegitimately declaring John Mahama as President-elect. And unlike previous years when allegations were tossed around without substantial proof, the “blue sheets” document exactly what happened. So Nana Akufo-Addo and the NPP have decided to take the case to the Supreme Court.

The NPP is fully committed to the legal process – now that all the evidence is in our possession, we know that we have a rock solid case that will shock the nation and the world.

So we begin the process of analyzing it and auditing it, which we admit will take some time. We have no interest in rushing to court if we have not had the time to fully analyze the data from 26,000 polling stations and close to 11 million votes cast.

To be clear, if our objectives were selfish in nature, then yes, the data will show in short order that merely to prove that JM didn't win on a one-touch is a matter of simple arithmetic. In fact, we may even learn that Nana Akufo-Addo won on a one-touch once we've double-checked all the numbers.

But that is not the most important element and does not embody our principle objective. The nation must be crystal clear about this point: - we are not raising this case because we wish to say "we won". Rather, we are raising this case because we wish to say "Ghana lost" and Ghanaian democracy lost because our process allowed for a systematic, coordinated, and deliberate manipulation of results, which enable the EC to declare illegitimately a President based upon fraudulent vote data.

Ghana is supposed to be better than that, and Nana Akufo-Addo believes that it is. He believes that our institutions, backed by the will of the people, are stronger than a handful of deceitful fraudsters in the NDC cabal. That is why he is so passionate about this case.

Many people inside and outside of Ghana have been thinking, “get on with it…what’s the big deal, just show us the total result.” But the analytical aspects of this court case are enormous, because we need to identify the trends of the vote fraud and show the Ghanaian people exactly what those fraudsters did to disenfranchise them and violate their sovereign will.

That means that Nana Akufo-Addo is going to be perfectionists about our court case because it is for the people, not for himself.

This case brings Nana's political life full circle. He has always been a man of the law, having taken many cases as a lawyer related to human rights and civil rights, having led the fight to end Ghana’s military government and pave the way for the Constitution of the 4th Republic, and having delivered justice on behalf of the Ghanaian people as Attorney Genereal. Most of all, Nana Akufo-Addo always remained committed to achieving political change peacefully, and his strong and principled leadership explains why Ghana has avoided a violent resolution to this election theft. He has made it clear to NPP supporters that we are to follow the legal process and remain calm, even in the face of extreme NDC provocation, harassment, blackmail, bribery, even threat of bodily harm or death.

Now Nana is staking his entire life's work on the spirit of our Constitution, and so the NPP will file its case within the 21-day period envisioned by the Constitution. When the evidence comes to light for the first time, probably right after Christmas, it will overwhelm the nation. The magnitude of what is at stake will shock the nation and the world.

Thus, we are asking the people of Ghana, especially our supporters, to be patient. We are in uncharted waters, mounting such a comprehensive and serious challenge to an election result. But the NPP believes that it MUST be challenged in this case - we simply cannot overlook the scope and scale of the fraud.

Our Constitution fully provides for an election result to be invalidated based upon the evidence, and a President deemed illegitimate in the office, even after he has been inaugurated.

That is a Constitutional fact and a reality that every Ghanaian should embrace and have confidence knowing that an inauguration is not a point of no return.

This is a historic moment for Ghana. Nana is putting all of his faith in our institutions. He believes so much in this country as a beacon of democracy that he is counting on the courts and our legal institutions to have the independence and the courage and the wisdom to say, "The Electoral Commission was wrong. The results that they declared are fraudulent. John Mahama may have been inaugurated, but he is NOT our rightful President."

Columnist: Yeboah, Eric