|Audio Attachment:Listen to Murtala Mohammed|
The New Patriotic Party is disturbed by a public statement made by a Minister of the John Mahama government questioning the jurisdiction of the Supreme Court in the election petition.
Deputy Minister of Information, Murtala Mohammed, stated in an interview with Ho-based popular radio station Tosh FM, on the 22nd of August 2013, that contrary to the view many people have, the Supreme Court has no such powers to declare a winner of an election. That is not their responsibility. The only body that has the responsibility of declaring a winner of an election is the Electoral Commission.
He also went on to add that The President could have said that he will not go and that the Supreme Court could not even have forced him.
Murtala Mohammed should come and retract that unfortunate and irresponsible statement, which was deliberately made days before the final ruling on the Presidential election petition, on the 29th of August 2013.
His statements go against what all the parties in the case are publicly saying, which is they will abide by whatever decision is reached by the Supreme Court. Coming from a Minister of a government of the 1st Respondent (John Mahama), and a leading member of the 3rd Respondent (NDC), this statement can only be aimed at causing dangerous confusion in the minds of the general public, particularly supporters of the ruling party and could disturb all the efforts being made to educate the public to respect and accept the authority of the Supreme Court in this election petition.
Specifically, his statement seems to be challenging the jurisdiction of the court and stands the risk of misinforming party supporters into believing that the Supreme Court has no such powers, as this will be in direct contravention of Article 64 of the Constitution of the Republic and C1 74, the combined effect of which gives the Supreme Court express powers to declare that one President was invalidly elected and another was rather validly elected.
For such a statement to come from one charge of government information, as communication to the public, it raises serious national security issues, at a time when we are all making efforts to get people to respect the decision of the court. It sends a clear message that the President and his ruling party are speaking from both sides of their mouth.
We call on government to retract the statement and spend the resources of that Ministry to, if at all, rather educate the public on the true state of the law.
NPP Deputy Communications Director
Source: Communications Directorate, NPP/Ghana
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