- According to him, the chairperson of the EC needs to be held responsible for the role she played in the 2020 elections
- For him, attempts to shield her from mounting the witness box for cross-examination will embolden public officials to misbehave knowing they will go scot-free
- He further stated that he will ask for a review of the court’s ruling that she cannot be forced into the witness box
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Tsatsu Tsikata is set to reopen John Mahama’s case in the ongoing election petition trial to subpoena Jean Mensa into the witness box for cross-examination.
He also served notice that he will seek a review of the ruling that the chairperson of the Electoral Commission (EC) cannot be forced to mount the witness box.
Mensa who was the returning officer in the disputed 2020 presidential elections was expected to mount the witness box to be cross-examined by the lawyers for the petitioner, John Mahama, in the trial.
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But Justin Amenuvor, the lawyer for the EC, informed the court that he would not call any witnesses, arguing that the three witnesses called by the petitioner had not satisfied the burden of proof when they appeared before the court.
Tsikata however objected to the EC lawyer’s moves, arguing that the EC chair cannot be shielded from cross-examination after signing the witness statement the first respondent put in the trial.
However, delivering the ruling of the seven-member panel hearing the case on Thursday, February 11, 2021, Chief Justice Anin Yeboah said a party to a case cannot be forced to induce evidence.
He further noted the defendant has a right not to induce evidence after the petitioner had closed his case and that the petitioner “bears the burden of proof.”
Reacting to the ruling, Tsikata said without mincing words that he will apply for a review.
He further observed that the petitioner will reopen his case to subpoena the chairperson of the EC.
“We are applying to reopen our case and on that basis, we are issuing a subpoena addressed to the chairperson of the electoral commission of Ghana,” he stated.
Meanwhile, a private legal practitioner, Ace Anan Ankomah opined that the petitioner cannot hang the destiny of his case on what his opponents might or might not do in court.
“If you go to court alleging that something has or has not happened, the burden is on you to provide the evidence,” he stated in an op-ed titled: ‘He Who Alleges Must Prove’.
On other hand, Gabby Asare Otchere-Darko advised Tsikata to admit he was outmaneuvered in the ongoing trial.
“Tsatsu should simply admit that he’s been outsmarted!” the leading member of the governing NPP wrote.
The NDC flagbearer John Dramani Mahama petitioned the Supreme Court to order a second round of the December 7, election.
According to him, the votes obtained by NPP’s candidate, President Nana Akufo-Addo, and himself in the December 7, election as declared by the EC Chair were not enough for a candidate to be declared the winner.
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