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A member of John Dramani Mahama’s legal team Dr Abdul Baasit Bamba has said the composition of the bench to hear the 2020 election petition is unfair and unbalanced.
According to him, aside from the panel being short of senior judges, it is mainly made up of appointees by the New Patriotic Party (NPP) government.
Speaking to JoyNews, Dr Baasit Bamba said some explanations must be put to why the Chief Justice settled on 7 Judges instead of 9 as happened in the 2012 election petition.
“To be frank with you, I was extremely disappointed in the composition of the panel. This is not to take away anything from the integrity and the competence of the judges on the panel. This is a very important and peculiar case. The first time we had a case like this was in the 2012 petition.
When you have a case like this, high political stakes about who has been validly elected as president of the Republic of Ghana. It is always important to make sure you have a balanced and fair panel. This panel is a departure from what we had in 2012,” he explained.
He added that it would have been better if other experienced Judges at the Apex Court had been placed on the panel.
“In the 2012 election petition, the most senior justices were empanelled. This panel has 7 instead of 9 and no reason has been given”.
But a member of the President’s legal team, Kojo Oppong Nkrumah has described Dr Bamba’s assertions as bogus.
He insisted this claim together with the allegation of bribery levelled by Asawaase MP Muntaka Mubarak is part of a grand scheme to cause disaffection for the court because the NDC knows it does not have a strong case.
The seven-member panel hearing the matter includes Chief Justice Kwasi Anin-Yeboah, Yaw Appau, Marful Sau, Nene Amegatcher, Prof. Ashie Kotey, Mariama Owusu and Gertrude Torkonoo.
Justice Yaw Appau was appointed to the Supreme Court by the NDC’s John Mahama in June 2015.