Election Petition Withdrawal Syndrome Afflicts Ghanaians

Barely six days after the “battle of evidence” ended at the Supreme Court hearing the 2012 Presidential Election Petition, some Ghanaians appear ‘unhappy’ about the fact that they no longer have the opportunity to watch the nation’s legal brains exhibit their legal prowess in open court. According to them “it was the only job they had”: glued to their television sets to watch the court proceedings. In a random interview session conducted by the New Statesman to find out the post-election petition reaction of Ghanaians, it was clear that most of the interviewees were experiencing “election petition withdrawal symptoms.” “We have been so used to waking up every day waiting for the clock to strike 10:30am so we can tune our television or radio sets and follow, at firsthand, how the battle over the evidence brought by the petitioners as to the conduct of the December 2012 elections will pan out,” Kwame Mensah, a mechanic at Asylum Down, told this reporter. He added that many people had become used to the proceedings over the last three months that the ending of the trial had become problematic, as they do not have anything much to do, considering the fact that economic activities in the country have slowed down since last year. Adwoa Mansah, a tomato seller at the Kaneshie Market, showed our reporter a brand new Sanyo battery-powered radio with ear phones which she bought recently just because she did not want to miss what was going on at the Supreme Court. Despite admitting that some of the legal jargons used by the Judges and Lawyers put her at a disadvantage, because of her educational background, she said she would still tune in and listen to proceedings in the hope that her favourite twi-based radio station will offer her some interpretations. “I never missed a single day of proceedings because I was interested in what was going on at the court. Now that it has ended, I feel there’s a part of me that is missing and I’m trying so hard to plug that loophole,” she added. “Massa, I wish this case never ended. It has broadened my horizon about the law profession and I will certainly become a lawyer, if God grants me wisdom and long life,” Lesley Quaye, a level 300 Economics student at the University of Ghana, told our reporter. The live transmission of the Supreme Court proceedings gripped the public imagination and exploded a few myths. Even Accra's notorious vehicular traffic congestion went down these past three months as many stayed glued to their television sets. “I can testify that when I walked into a doctor's waiting room in Accra recently, I saw a roomful of people with everybody's eyes hypnotically trained on the television set up in a corner of the room and the slightest cough was met with hostile disapproval. This was doubtless the greatest show in town and Ghana had never really had anything quite like it,” Kweku Oteng told this paper. The courtroom drama was electrifying enough but the stakes are very high and deadly serious.