Election petition: Court dismisses Mahama’s application to re-open case

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Judges of the Supreme Court have in a unanimous decision, dismissed the application of the petitioner to re-open his case, describing the argument he advanced as lacking merit.

According to the court, the petitioner, John Dramani Mahama, has not been able to adduce any relevance of testimony to their case and due to that, the court is unable to admit their case. 

The ruling of the court to disallow the petitioner’s request on Tuesday, February 16, 2021 stems from the arguments made by the counsel for the petitioner, Tsatsu Tsikata, to overturn the stands taken by the chairperson of the first respondent, Mrs Jean Mensah not to mount the witness box, so that she will be cross examined on the petition that is before the court.

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This is in view of the fact that, the petitioner has not been able to prove his case before the court in the ongoing election petition as espoused by the Evidence Act, Section 14 which says that ‘he who alleges must prove’  but unfortunately, they have not been able to do that. 

Since the court’s ruling on February 11, to disallow Jean Mensah from mounting the witness box, Tsatsu Tsikata has sort to subpoena her to mount the witness box, since she has already filed her witness statement. 

When asked by the court, on what category the chairperson of the first respondent will be placed as the petitioner seeks to subpoena her upon the re-opening of his case, counsel for the petitioner, Tsatsu Tsikata said she is being subpoenaed as a constitutional public officer who is distinguishable from the petition and as chairperson of the first respondent who though is relevant to the petition but has refused to mount the witness box, be compelled to testify as an adverse or hostile witness to the ongoing election petition. 

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According to him, the chairperson of the first respondent, Mrs, Jean Mensah, has a unique role in the presidential election and her testimony to the court will help to satisfy the petition which is contested at the Supreme Court. 

It is upon this background that the petitioner sorted to invoke the inherent jurisdiction of the Supreme Court to compel the chairperson of the first respondent to testify.

However, the court in its ruling today dismissed the application on the basis that there is no legal backing for the court to compel the chairperson of the first respondent owing to the fact the onus lied on the petitioner to prove their case which they failed to do.

Based upon this ruling, the counsel for the petitioner has filed a motion for stay of proceedings pending a review of the 11th February ruling as well as the 16th February ruling. 

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