Image; Lawyers, Akoto Ampaw and Tsatsu Tsikata.
Just like in 2012, another historical legal battle is yet to unravel at the Supreme Court of Ghana between two of the most respected lawyers in the country.
After the 2020 general elections, the Presidential candidate of the National Democratic Congress, John Dramani Mahama has refused to accept the results as declared by the electoral commission alleging widespread irregularities, proceeded to conduct an independent audit of the results and subsequently filed a petition at the Supreme Court.
The petitioner is praying the Court to nullify the declaration of Nana Addo as President and also cause the the Electoral Commission to conduct a re-run of the Presidential election.
On January 14, 2020, the Court sat on an application filed by the petitioner to amend the petition and to also request the Court to permit media coverage of proceedings and all were subsequently granted with proceedings adjourned to Tuesday, January 19, 2020.
Even though, there are a number a lawyers representing various parties in the matter and will be playing their respective roles in proceedings when pretrial begin on Tuesday, there is no doubt that much attention will be on the respective lead counsels for the Petitioner (John Dramani Mahama) and the second respondent (Nana Addo Dankwa Akuffo-Addo).
The outcome of the petition is highly dependent on the argument of both lead counsels, Lawyer Tsatsu Tsikata and Lawyer Akoto Ampaw. Both Lawyers come with experiences from the 2012 election petition where they both played pivotal roles on their respective lives. If there is any interesting piece to this petition proceedings, it is about the fact that these two renowned lawyers are lead counsels and Ghanaians can be assured of a heated, intellectual and educative legal arguments.
We take a look at the profile of both Lawyers below;
1 Tsatsu Tsika Esq.
Many refer to him as “the walking law” as a result of his enormous experience and knowledge in law and there have been calls by some members of the National Democratic Congress to name the National Headquarters of the party after him.
At age 16, he gained admission into the University of Ghana and obtained an LLB First Class degree two years later at the age of 18 years. He holds a First Class Honors inBachelor of Civil Law from the Oxford University. He was at a point in his career, appointed a lecturer at the Law Faculty of the University of Ghana and the current Speaker of Parliament, Alban Kingsford Sumana Bagbin was once upon a time, his student. Notable among the people he has represented in court include; William Ofori Atta and the late former President Jerry John Rawlings when he was arraigned for treason by the Supreme Military Council in 1979.
Tsatsu Tsikata Esq. was the Chief Executive Officer of the Ghana National Petroleum Company from 1988 until 2000. He was convicted and imprisoned in 2008 in what has arguably become the longest trial involving a former government official spanning six (6) years. He was then pardoned by former President Kuffour by he rejected the pardon, appealed his conviction, represented himself, won and had all criminal records against him in the matter cleared. He was also the lead Counsel for the National Democratic Congress in the 2012 election petition filed in the Supreme Court by the then opposition New Patriotic Party.
Tsatsu Tsikata is highly respected in the legal fraternity and had it not been his active role in politics, he would be a Supreme Court Judge.
Tsatsu Tsikata is a member of the National Democratic Congress and married with three (3) children.
2 Akoto Ampaw Esq.
When President Akuffo Addo setup the office of the Special Prosecutor in 2017, all the dots pointed to Akoto Ampaw Esq. as the person to be appointed as the Special Prosecutor.
A partner of Akuffo-Addo, Prempeh and Co., Akuffo-Addo’s firm and is equally highly respected in the legal fraternity and was one of the leading members of the legal team of the New Patriotic Party in the 2012 election petition. He is a product of the University of Ghana, Ghana School of Law and a highly experienced legal practitioner with expertise in commercial law, company law, industrial law and litigation.
Akoto Ampaw Esq. is a staunch defender of media freedom and is known to be one of the people in recent years, who have consistently advocated for the implementation of the Right To Information (RTI) bill. His knowledge in law is very deep and has represented many people in court over human right abuses.
In 2017, he was appointed as a member of the Advisory Board of the Ministry of Justice, a position he is expected to retain.
He is also a strong anti-corruption and human rights campaigner and has consistently advised government on such matters.
To this end, there are high expectations on Tsatsu Tsikata Esq. and Akoto Ampaw Esq. as proceedings resumes at the Supreme Court on Tuesday, January 19, 2020 on another historic election petition.
The ball lies in the courts of the aforementioned legal heavyweights to make the difference in the outcome of the election petition before the Apex Court of the Republic
Source: British Accra