Accept future election petition ruling as Akufo Addo did – Justice Dotse tells political actors

A Justice of the Supreme Court, Justice Jones Dotse has called on the various political actors in Ghana to accept decision of the courts on election dispute adjudication with a good heart just as the Flagbearer of the largest opposition New Patriotic Party (NPP) Nana Akufo Addo did during the election petition case in 2013.

According to him, it is important to observe that for the Judiciary to play its key role in policing the 2016 elections and beyond it must have not only the constitutional guarantees of security of tenure but also the enabling environment to work without any fear or intimidation.

Nana Akufo-Addo, the NPP Presidential Candidate in the 2012 election admitted defeat after Ghana’s Supreme Court confirmed President John Dramani Mahama as the validly elected President of Ghana.

He told party supporters at his residence: “I have personally called to congratulate President John Mahama as the fourth elected president of the fourth republic. While I disagree with the court’s decision I accept it. I accept that what the court says bring finality to the election dispute. We shall not be asking for a review of the verdict so we can all move on in the interest of our nation. … I am saddened by the verdict and I know most of our supporters are saddened too.”

The nine-member panel presided over by Justice William Atuguba refused to annul the over four million votes which the petitioners said were added to President John Mahama’s to make him win the 2012 elections.

The petitioners who filed the petition challenging the results of the 2012 presidential elections were seeking to have the votes annulled and have subsequently declared the presidential candidate of the 2012 presidential candidate of the New Patriotic Party (NPP), Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, as the winner of the December 2012 elections.

Speaking during the 9th Annual Chief Justice forum, on Monday in Accra, on the theme: The Judiciary and Election 2016, Justice Dotse noted that the 2012 election disputes called for many reforms including amendments in CI 91 and CI 94.

He said in his estimation, the courts in the post 2012 elections rose to the occasion and played key roles in inquiring into the laws and regulations which govern the election, adding that this has resulted in key reforms that has been embodied into CI 91, 91 and soon to be published Supreme Court Amendment rules.

Justice Dotse urged Civil Society Organizations and the Ghanaian public on the need protect the Judiciary when the need arises, especially as the Judiciary has come under attack from all the civilian regimes in Ghana including the military.

“There have been varied degrees of support for the Judiciary when they come under attack by government as well as opposition, the attacks are more ferocious and intimidating when they comes from the ruling government and its agents. As it is very well known, it is rare for Judges to defend themselves. Apart from the Ghana Bar Association and some of the orthodox churches, there’s generally been stoic silence when the Judiciary is under siege by all manner of persons and institutions.

He added: “It is important to observe that for the Judiciary to play its key role in policing the 2016 elections and beyond it must not only have the constitutional guarantees of security of tenure, but also the enabling environment to work without any fear or intimidation. In this respect therefore, let me use this platform to urge all the political actors in Ghana to accept the decision of the courts on election dispute adjudication with a good heart as was done by Nana Akufo Addo in August 2013.

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