Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Covering the Election Petition

I honestly don't remember most of arguments but I still have a fresh idea of when exactly the ongoing election petition case started. I had in December 28th, 2012 covered a press conference addressed by the New Patriotic Party presidential candidate Nana Akufo Addo at the Alisa hotel. It was on that said day that Nana Addo and his runningmate Dr. Mahamadu Bawumia and party chairman Jake Obetsebi Lamptey finally filed their petition at the court to contest the outcome of the 2012 presidential election results. The whole venue was very much crowded by party supporters, making it hard for most journalists to have access. But the security officials did well in ensuring every journalist invited managed to secure a place. It was at that meeting that Nana Addo said they have filed and were ready to hit the court. The entire room erupted with loud cheers, and the phrase: 'Let My Vote Count' rang alongside it. I was forced to ran a live commentary on radio, cracking up on twi-local Ghanaian language-to the best of my knowledge. I knew I was going to cover the court from that time. How long was the case going to last and how long was I going to spend in the courtroom? That was the basic question ringing inside my head for days.Being the first of its kind, almost everyone in my office was buzzing with enthusiasm; 'i wish i could come with you,' a colleague told me. I said 'yea' maybe we could do this today. Typical of Ghanaians, the first day was full of media blitz, it was as if the entire life of Ghanaians depended on the case-mind you it was even the initial stages when lawyers from the various sides had to agree and disagree on many issues. Finally the court decided to set aside two main issues for the case to begin. Then there was the angle of live telecast. Was it going to happen? I was very much confident It was not going to happen, after all recordings are not even allowed. However, on the eve of the first sitting, I was informed, through a colleague, that the chief justice had agreed for the proceedings to be televised. It was pretty much awkward, especially when the judges themselves had made it clear they were not going to allow even projectors to be used by the petitioners. We all turned up on the first day and the OB Van of the national broadcast had setup, waiting for the various parties and the judges to walk. Presiding Judge William Atuguba informed the various lawyers of the presence of the cameras and asked for their opinion. They all agreed. The rest they say is history. I have not blogged in a long while but I'm going to make it my daily job to update followers of some of the side issues that take place in court. I'm not a lawyer so I don't intend to pretend to know the law. I'll express positions akin to the simple form lawyers process the issues for us to appreciate. Until then, enjoy your evening.

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