One of the lawyers of President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo in the ongoing election petition hearing, Mr. Frank Davies, has told lawyer for the petitioner Mr. Tsatsu Tsikata that he cannot circumvent the rules governing the hearing.
He further dismissed claims by Mr. Tsikata that justice should not be sacrificed for an expedition.
Mr. Davies said Justice delayed is justice denied.
Mr. Tsikata told the Supreme Court on Wednesday, January 20 that much as the court may want to stick to the timelines specified in C.I 99 for the adjudication of election petitions, it should not be done in disregard of justice.
Tsikata was reacting to orders by the court for parties file their witness statements by 12 noon Thursday, January 21, a timeline the lawyer deemed too short.
According to him, the Supreme Court’s insistence of such a short timeline is not justified in law.
But the bench explained the modification of the law which culminated in C.I 99 requires the court to operate within strict timelines, a requirement the court cannot compromise.
The bench was also of the view that lawyers should have known that they will be required to file witness statements and that those should have been prepared ahead of time.
Dissatisfied Tsatsu Tsikata told the court, adherence to those timelines should not injure justice.
“Justice cannot be sacrificed for expedition”, he said.
But speaking in an interview with the media after proceedings, Mr Frank Davies said the petitioners should have known they were going to be asked to file their witness statements.
“As petitioners, they should have known that C.I 99 governs the proceedings and C.I 99 has been in place since 2016. When did they realize about the expedition, delay and justice?
“Of course expedition is justice. You don’t come to court on a set of rules and you want to circumvent the rules by your own careless abandon. How do you come to court with a petition and you don’t know you have to file your witness statements? I don’t understand what is meant by sacrificing justice on the altar for expedition.”
He added “What is meant by sacrificing justice on the altar of expedition?
“Justice delayed is justice denied. So what is it? They are just not ready. They were advocating for a live broadcast of proceedings and now everybody is seeing what is happening in court. Everyday lead counsel for the petitioners is making one complaint or the other.
“You cannot blame the failure of a bad farm on your tools of implementation. Your farm is your farm and it depends on how you cultivate it so we should not ponder over this repeated rhetoric of sacrificing justice for expedition”.