Parties ordered to submit addresses

The Supreme Court hearing the election petition on Wednesday directed the parties in the case to submit their written addresses not later than July 31, 2013. Justice William Atuguba, President of the panel, said by July 31, when the court re-convenes, it would give further directions to the parties as to what to do. He made the statement after counsel for the parties signaled to the court that they were done with their arguments. Mr Tony Lithur, Counsel for President John Mahama however suggested to the court that, apart from the written addresses, parties should be given a few more days to respond to each otherís argument. The courtís directive summed up the hearing of a 46-day election petition filed by three Petitioners, Nana Akuffo Addo, the Presidential candidate of the New Patriotic Party (NPP), his running mate, Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia and Jake Obetsibi Lamptey, Chairman of the NPP. The three petitioners are praying the Supreme Court to overturn the results declared by Dr Kwadwo Afari Gyan, Chairman of the Electoral Commission (EC) making President John Mahama of the National Democratic Congress (NDC) the winner of the 2012 elections. The Election Petition hearing began on 16th April 2013. Mr Philip Addison, lead Counsel for the petitioner also concluded his cross examination of Dr Afari Gyan, witness of the EC to end the presentation of evidence by the petitioners. Mr Addison indicated yesterday that he was done with his cross-examination but Mr James Quarshie-Idun, Counsel for the EC brought in new pink sheets during his re-examination of the witness. Mr Addison then insisted that the petitioners need to cross-examine Dr. Afari Gyan on those new pink sheets. Mr Tsatsu Tsikata, Counsel for NDC also sought a leave from the court to do three minutes re-examination of the witness. Mr Tsikata then asked the witness if a particular polling station had been divided into two (A and B) by the EC, which the witness confirmed. Justice Atuguba however said the question by Mr Tsikata has been settled by the EC already. Mr Tsikata however maintained that that polling station has been disputed by the petitioners. Justice Atuguba intervenes again saying the dispute is not important and that the respondent can raise issues in their addresses to the courts. Mr Tony Lithur, Counsel for President John Mahama said he would not re-examine the witness. Mr Addison at that juncture got up and thanked the judges for indulging the parties to the petition. Mr Lithur also revealed that the parties would invite each other for drinks after all is over. Mr Quarshie Idun and Mr Tsikata backed Mr Addisonís gratitude. Justice Atuguba said he equally appreciates the cooperation of the parties and adjourned the case to July 31, 2013.