Former President John Mahama filed a petition at the registry of the Supreme Court on the last day of the twenty-one (21) day window allowed by law for a presidential candidate to file a petition against the results of a general election in the country (30th December 2020).
In the petition, lawyers of Mr. Mahama, interchanged who the 1st Respondent (EC) is and who the 2nd respondent (Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo) throughout the petition. Additionally, in the last (6th) relief been sought by the petitioner, instead of requesting an order of the Court to order a re-run between the petitioner and the winner of the 2020 Presidential election, the prayer was rather for a re-run between the petitioner and the Electoral Commission of Ghana.
As a result of what the NDC legal team described as ‘clerical errors’, Private Legal Practitioner in Ghana and Member of the British Bar, Ralph Poku-Adusei has rubbished such description by the NDC Legal Team and termed such mistakes as unpardonable and same has dragged the legal profession into public ridicule.
“The mistakes, omissions and clerical errors in the petition as filed by lawyers for the NDC flagbearer in the just ended 2020 Presidential and Parliamentary elections are unacceptable. In fact, the nature of the mistakes in the petition reduces the confidence the public has in the Ghanaian bar as far as the standards and etiquettes of the legal profession is concerned and thus it will be prudent for the legal team to ensure that the mistakes are corrected at the earliest opportune time” lawyer Ralph Poku-Adusei said in an exclusive interview with Asaase News.
The duty of a lawyer to represent someone, be it an applicant such as in the instant case, or a respondent in Court is a sacred duty and lawyers are naturally enjoined to ensure that they have done due deligence before proceeding to act in a matter. The errors in the petition filed on the 30th of December 2020 could have been avoided if proper vetting of the petition had been carried out” lawyer Poku-Adusei added.
The lawyer then threw out a caution to his learned colleagues; to be circumspect in the Profession so not to repeat such mistakes, more so because of the international interest in the matter.