“It is too late for the NDC to redraw their case from court”- Maurice Ampaw
With the petitioners failing to lose all the cases they have sent to the court in the pending 2020 Election Petition case at the Supreme Court, there have been appeals for them to move a request to suspend the case.
On the one hand, there is an increasing general perception that the judges sitting on the case do not owe the petitioners a fair trial, while on the other, Rockson-Nelson Este Kwami Dafeamekpor, a member of the National Democratic Congress and Member of Parliament for the South Dayi, claims that it is time for John Dramani Mahama to quit the case.
He argues that it simply demonstrates that the minority group is threatened and that “justice emanates from the people” as espoused in the Constitution no longer holds, with the way Justices at the Supreme Court toss out motions brought by the Counsels representing the plaintiff.
But Maurice Ampaw, a private law attorney, has confirmed that while it seems like a rational choice to make, it is too late to do it for them.
When you go to the battlefield and you know that the law is not on your side, you are not favored by the facts, what are you doing? You can throw the towel in, but where we got to, the court would move ahead if you throw the towel in, so you will not just quit. You have to state arguments that you chose to quit because the court will decline and they are going to impose judgement where we have come to, but what are you running away from? “Said he.
In a telephone interview with GhanaWeb, he asked what it was that the petitioners might run away from in a case they took to the court themselves, now trying to remove.
Even if they go to the discontinuation file, we have past that point. You have administered evidence, you have closed your argument, you have also been asked by the respondents, and now, it is time for addresses and then judgement. So, it is too late in the day for you to suggest you are stepping back,’ he said.
He also discussed that it seems like the petitioners are ‘losing’ the case in appeal, blaming it on their case’s porous existence.
You go to court and you make sure that you focus on your case in defending your argument, construct a good case, do not think about your adversary, actually have a team where you break your party: you speak for the petitioner and you claim to speak for the defendant. And so make sure that you recognize all the tactics the respondent is willing to employ toward the condition.
You can also bear in mind that two things may be accomplished by the respondent; either the respondent will wish to respond to your case, or to remain silent, you must remind yourself that if the respondent wishes to remain silent, what would your approach be? But without organizing the case properly, you do not go before the judge, do not arrange your thoughts well, your legal claims are not what will make the court, your proof and your testimony so porous,’ he added.
Maurice Ampaw also urged those presenting a fair-hearing argument to consider the merits of the case thoroughly before they rant over something like that.
He clarified that the court deals with proof and that it has achieved just as it has done so far.
What are they all about, all that are talking about equal hearing? They should not understand the equal hearing of the average Ghanaian, those who are involved in media courts, those who render the argument of popular opinion. Equal trial by regulation allows everybody the right to be heard. Did the court deny a trial from the petitioner? Did they prohibit them from presenting their argument in compliance with the laws related to the proceedings?
So, as we speak of a reasonable trial, it is not about pressuring anyone to be covered by the rules. The law states someone has the right to keep quiet, why does your right to a fair trial compromise the right of another to stay silent?
“Public sentiment is meaningless. We should not worry for what the media feels, since it is not the law. Not the rule is the public. In the court of popular opinion, the lawsuit was not brought; the case was not filed in the media-nobody had a copy of the petition. The lawsuit was brought in a qualified court of jurisdiction, but there are laws and regulations for how to govern and handle the case, and that is just what the Supreme Court does; they are centered, he said.