The entire country came to a halt yesterday morning as the election petition case challenging the validity of President John Dramani Mahama as President of Ghana began at the Supreme Court in Accra.
Thousands of Ghanaians were seen glued to their television and radio sets to watch the proceedings.
“I know I hardly can understand the legal issues that are being discussed in the court room, but I am watching the TV so that I can discuss with my children and grandchildren what happened at the court at a later date…,” 57-year-old Akua Fosua told this reporter.
She is among the many Ghanaians who despite their inability to comprehend the legalities of the subject matter dared to be part of the legal process.
Ghana’s Chief Justice, Justice Mrs. Theodora Woode, asked Supreme Court to telecast live on Ghana Television (GTV) the election petition case filed by Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia and Jake Otanka Obetsebi-Lamptey of the New Patriotic Party (NPP).
The petitioners are challenging the results of the 2012 elections that declared National Democratic Congress (NDC) flag bearer, John Dramani Mahama, as the winner of the presidential elections.
And three months after the filing of the motion, the Supreme Court set yesterday, 16th April, 2013 as the date to commence hearing.
The last-minute declaration that the Court makes a public broadcast of the case was highly welcomed by thousands of Ghanaians though a few NDC stalwarts and propagandists were not in favour of it.
After the first day hearing, Today went round to find out the views from Ghanaians and the indication was that many were content that the trial is being telecasted live on GTV.
At the University of Ghana, Legon, despite the return of lecturers to the lecture halls students were seen sitting at the various TV rooms in their halls of residence watching live the proceedings.
Numbering hundreds of them, they expressed optimism that the proceedings of the trial would go a long way to deepen the country’s democracy.
Shouts of approval greeted the declaration by Justice Raymond Atuguba that the Supreme Court is allowing the live broadcast to continue till the end of the case.
The students’ views and reactions were not different from that of professionals at the various banking halls who despite completing their financial transactions took a seat at the halls and were watched the live telecast of the trial.
At the Neoplan Station at Kwame Nkrumah Circle in Accra, passengers were also seen struggling with drivers and other workers at the yard to watch the live transmission of the case.
“…Yes, even as I depart to board a vehicle on my way to Nkawkaw, I would be monitoring the case on the radio on my phone as I am seeking to be updated of whatever goes on at the Supreme Court….” a passenger, Doreen Mensah, said.
From the regions, our correspondents reported that the feelings were not different as many Ghanaians, both the young and old, watched the trial on GTV.
James Appiakorang reports from the Ashanti Region that numerous inhabitants of the region welcomed the decision by the Supreme Court to telecast the election petition live on GTV.
According to our reporter, farmers on their way to farm took along portable radio sets to listen to the court proceedings.
They were also of similar views that the live telecast will help the entire country know of the true outcome of proceedings.
The situation was no different at Tamale, Cape Coast and Sekondi where our reporters were contacted.
STORY: KWAKU NTI