- Lawyers for the first and second respondents have said they will not call any witnesses
- The Chairperson of the EC, Jean Mensa, and Peter Mac Manu, the campaign director of the NPP are expected to be cross-examined after the petitioner’s witnesses
- The petitioner is before the apex court to have the results of the 2020 presidential elections set aside
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Lawyer Kwaku Asare, affectionately called Kwaku Azar has been speaking on the disclosures by the lawyers of the first and second respondents in the on-going election petition not to call any witnesses.
Justin Amenuvor and Akoto Ampaw argued that the three witnesses called by the petitioner “have not satisfied the burden of proof” when they appeared before the court.
“So, we can’t be forced to call any witness,” Ampaw told the court amid objections from the lawyer for John Mahama, the petitioner in the case.
Commenting on the development, Kwaku Azar said the respondents are entitled to move for a directed verdict if in their view, the petitioner failed to meet its burden of proof production.
However, he believes the Court must be interested in hearing what the Returning Officer in the 2020 presidential election, Jean Mensa, has to say since it denied the petitioner access to some materials in her custody.
“It is also my belief that the Petitioner should be able to call the Returning Officer and treat her as a hostile witness if she chooses not to appear to defend her witness statement,” he stated.
Tsatsu Tsikata, the lawyer for John Mahama, the petitioner in the trial objected to the move as the hearing was adjourned to Tuesday, February 8, 2021 for the counsel to address the seven-member panel.
Amenuvor and Ampaw are expected to present Jean Mensa and Peter Mac Manu, the campaign director of the New Patriotic Party (NPP)
The EC chair had since her December 9 declaration of the presidential results reportedly had multiple threats on her life.
Gabby Asare Otchere-Darko disclosed this in reaction to a comment by the president and founder of IMANI Africa, Franklin Cudjoe, on the security beef up around the EC boss.
Cudjoe asked her to resign after the ongoing election petition hearing, explaining that it was unhealthy to be distrusted and be guarded by “loads of soldiers” each time she is going to work.
Akufo-Addo defeated John Mahama in the election by collecting 51.302% of the votes cast against the latter’s 47.359%. The votes difference between the two candidates stood at 517, 231, representing a four percentage point, one of the highest since 1996.
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