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The Supreme Court has dismissed an application by Daily Searchlight editor Ken Kuranchie that was seeking to challenge the eligibility of John Dramani Mahama to contest 2024 elections.
The apex court found the application defective.
Mr. Kuranchie in June 2023 filed the case against Mr. Mahama, former President John Agyekum Kuffuor, the Speaker of Parliament and the Attorney-General.
He contended that a true and proper interpretation of the 1992 Constitution should lead one to the conclusion that the only person entitled to a second presidential term must be a sitting President.
The reliefs he was seeking include, “A declaration that on a true and proper interpretation of Article 66 (1) of the 1992 Constitution the number of years of a presidential term in Ghana is four years.
“A declaration that upon a true and proper interpretation of Article 66 (1) and (2) of the 1992 Constitution, a person seeking a second presidential term must be a sitting president.
“An order directed at [John Mahama] to fully disclose to Parliament the terms of his engagements with Parliament as flagbearer of a political party.”
He argued further that a former President needs parliamentary approval to occupy any other office other than an office of state. A former President, he explains, therefore needs such approval to occupy an office that provides emolument, since he remains in the employ of the state after leaving office.
In court on Tuesday, November 14, lead counsel for former President Mahama and Speaker of Parliament, Alban Bagbin highlighted key objections they prayed the court to consider in dismissing Ken Kuranchie’s writ.
They first pointed out that following a search at the Supreme Court registry, they found out that no document spelling out the case of Mr. Kuranchie has been filed in the court even though they had been served with a document titled “plaintiff’s statement of case”.
— UTV Ghana (@utvghana) November 14, 2023
They argued further that what they found in the court records was a document titled “Affidavit in support of Plaintiff’s statement of case, facts and exhibits.”
The lawyers admit that the rules of court generally allow a person to file a case without a statement of case, but this must be filed within 14 days after initiation of the process.
Thaddeus Sory representing the Speaker of Parliament described the failure to file the statement of case as woefully out of time, citing that it had taken about about 95 days after Plaintiff had filed his Writ without filing the statement of case.
Counsel for former President Mahama, Tony Lithur therefore said to the court that from the development, it was evident that there was no case before it and prayed for it to be dismissed.
A member of the panel hearing the case, Justice Kulendi advised the journalist cum lawyer to seek a legal master and learn at the feet to avoid making procedural errors pertaining to the court.
Mr Mahama was recently elected flagbearer of the NDC for the 2024 general elections.
During the NDC’s primaries held on Saturday, May 13, 2023, he swept 297,603 (98.9%) of the total valid votes to become the party’s Presidential Candidate for the 4th time.