Former Deputy Minister for Communications, Victoria Hammah, appears to have given grounds to some people to continue holding on to their suspensions that the judgment given by the Supreme Court in the 2012 presidential election petition trial was influenced in one way or the other in favour of President John Dramani Mahama.
In a controversial leaked tape-recording, purported to contain her voice, Ms Hammah states that a Minister of state in the Mahama administration approached the Supreme Court Judges before they came out with their judgment on the election petition on August 29.
Victoria Hammah, who was dismissed on Friday, mentioned Nana Oye Lithur, Minister of Gender and Women Affairs and wife of Tony Lithur, the president’s counsel, as the person who approached the Judges and played a key role to secure victory for President Mahama and the NDC in the court case.
In trying to make her audience understand the kind of influence Nana Oye Lithur wields in society and in the Mahama government, Ms Hammah said:"...I learnt even before even the verdict, Nana [Oye Lithur] was with the Justices and all that. You don’t know the role she has played for us to win the court case.”
Some people believe that the claims by Victoria Hammah corroborate the assertions made by Gabby Asare Otchere-Darko after the Supreme Court had delivered it judgment.
“This was a corrupt judgement, and I say so without apologies,” Gabby said at the time, adding that “the decision is corrupt because it gave a corrupted interpretation of the  Constitution; it is like they [justices] sought to amend an entrenched constitutional provision.”
“Ignore the judiciary; they can't be bothered to undertake their primary duty of defending the Constitution. Let us work to do what we need to do to avoid problems with future elections,” Gabby advised the New Patriotic Party accordingly.
Meanwhile, the NPP has called on the Chief Justice to, as a matter of urgency, institute full scale investigations into the election petition verdict delivered by the nine justices of the Supreme Court, following the revelations by the dismissed deputy minister.
A statement signed by the party’s General Secretary, Kwadwo Owusu Afriyie, expressed shock at “the damning revelations made by, now former deputy Minister of Communications, Victoria Hammah that the verdict of the Presidential Election Petition delivered by Justice William Atuguba on the 29th of August was influenced by the government of President John Dramani Mahama.”
The statement insisted that “the dismissal of Victoria Hammah coupled with the deafening silence of President Mahama and his government in not denying the statements by Victoria Hammah, as contained in her dismissal letter, could only mean that they(what she said) are true and factual.”
Referring to Victoria Hammah’s claim that "I learnt even before the verdict, Nana (Oye Lithur) was with the Justices and all that. You don’t know the role she has played for us to win the court case", the statement sought to know: “The question is what role did a Minister of State in the Mahama government have to play to secure victory for her boss, if indeed, the respondents knew the petitioners had no case?”
“The Election Petition filed by the petitioners was grounded on evidence gathered and now Ghanaians are being told that Nana Oye Lithur, who happens to be the wife of Tony Lithur, counsel for President Mahama in the petition, was instrumental in securing victory for President Mahama, going to the extent of meeting the Supreme Court Judges before the verdict was delivered,” the statement noted.
It queried: “Were the true issues of the petition even considered by the judges or was it a case of maintaining the status quo at all cost, so as to keep President Mahama as president of Ghana regardless of the overwhelming evidence presented by the petitioners?”
“Were the errors made by Justice Atuguba on the day he delivered the judgement, where Justice Baffoe-Bonnie was said to have dismissed and upheld the petitioners’ claims of voting without verification all at the same time, as a result of the pressure put to bear on the judges by Nana Oye Lithur, before the verdict was read?” the statement further asked.
According to the statement, going by Victoria Hammah’s revelations, “it is not surprising that television cameras showed President Mahama wearing all-white apparel, with his Vice President and other appointees clad in white and waving white handkerchiefs even before the verdict was delivered. Certainly, they were all aware of the work Nana Oye Lithur had done in meeting the judges.”
The NPP believes the independence of the judiciary has been called into question by these revelations, adding that if the sanctity of the Judiciary cannot be maintained, but can be influenced by officials in government, then there is no hope for the ordinary man on the streets of obtaining justice in the country.
“Ghana deserves better and the Chief Justice must act now to safeguard our democracy and restore the confidence of Ghanaians in the judiciary,” the statement ended.
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