- According to the court, it deemed the cases of the first and second respondents also closed following its ruling on Thursday, February 11, 2021
- The petitioner had earlier closed his case after the testimony of his third witness
- But following the court’s ruling, the petitioner is reopening its case to subpoena the EC boss
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The Supreme Court has ordered counsel for the parties in the ongoing election petition trial to file their written addresses.
“This court hereby orders that the parties herein shall simultaneously file their respective closing addresses on or before Wednesday, 17 February 2021,” Chief Justice Anin Yeboah said on Thursday, February 11, 2021.
The court made the order when it ruled that the chairperson of the Electoral Commission (EC), Jean Mensa, cannot be compelled to testify in the trial.
Mensa, the returning officer in the disputed 2020 presidential elections, was expected to mount the witness box to be cross-examined by lawyers for the petitioner, John Mahama, in the trial.
Election petition: We’re reopening our case to subpoena Jean Mensa into the witness box - Tsatsu Tsikata
Justin Amenuvor, the lawyer for the EC [second respondent], informed the court that he was not going to call any witnesses, closing his case in the process.
He argued that the three witnesses called by the petitioner had not satisfied the burden of proof when they appeared before the court.
The petition was adjourned to Thursday, 18 February 2021, for counsel to highlight the written addresses for the petition to be adjourned for judgment.
Meanwhile, Tsatsu Tsikata said he would reopen the petitioner’s case to subpoena the EC chair into the witness box for cross-examination.
He further served notice that he would seek a review of the ruling that the EC chair cannot be forced to mount the witness box.
Delivering the ruling of the seven-member panel hearing the case, Chief Justice Anin Yeboah said a party to a case cannot be forced to induce evidence.
According to the ruling, the defendants [EC and President Nana Akufo-Addo] have a right not to induce evidence after the petitioner had closed his case.
A private legal practitioner, Ace Anan Ankomah, said in an earlier YEN.com.gh report that the former president cannot hang the destiny of his case on what the respondents do or do not 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’.
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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