- The petitioner has said that the chairperson of the EC needs to be held responsible for the role she played in the 2020 elections
- According to the petitioner’s lawyers, 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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The Electoral Commission (EC) has asked the Supreme Court to dismiss the application by John Dramani Mahama to reopen his case in the ongoing 2020 election petition.
The legal team for the former president informed the court on Thursday, February 11, 2021, that he wanted to reopen their case to subpoena the chairperson of the Electoral Commission (EC) into the witness box.
Jean Mensa was expected to mount the witness box to be cross-examined by the lawyers for the petitioner.
But, Justin Amenuvor, the lawyer for the commission informed the court that he would not call any witnesses, closing his case in the process.
Tsikata, however, objected to the EC lawyer’s moves. He said the commission’s chair cannot be shielded from cross-examination after signing the witness statement the first respondent put in the trial. He thus made an application to reopen the case.
However, in an affidavit deposed to the EC, Amenuvor said the application was not warranted “by any rule of law or procedure and the same should be dismissed by this Honourable Court.”
He continued that the application does not show sufficient reason for the court to permit the petitioner to reopen his case.
“I am advised that reopening a case is not a remedy for the asking; the Applicant must show the harm to be suffered if the case were not reopened. The Petitioner skipped this requirement.
“Again, I am advised that the Petitioner’s lawyers were confident when they closed his case without reservation, and this Court ought not to permit proceedings before it to drag unduly on the basis of a Party’s afterthought and inability to prove its case in Court,” the EC’s affidavit further 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 another 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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