Election petition: Supreme Court dismisses Mahama’s application for review of ruling that disallowed EC from testifying

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A  nine-member panel of the Supreme Court has in a unanimous decision on Thursday, February 18, 2021, dismissed the review application of the petitioner to reassess the ruling of 11th February.

The ruling on this date had the court dismissing the requestof the  petitioner, John Dramani Mahama, to compel the chairperson of the Electoral Commission, Jean Mensah, who is also the first respondent.

After Counsel for both sides argued to justify whether or not the court should change its stands on the February 11, ruling, counsel for the petitioner, Tsatsu Tsikata, said the ruling of the Supreme Court was a fundamental error.

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He then urged the court to have a relook at that decision to compel the chairperson of the first respondent to testify.

Citing some issues to buttress his reason for the review, he talked about the 12 questions the petitioner sort to ask the chairperson of the first respondent, including the interrogatories and inspection of the documents of the Electoral Commission, as well as the request for Form 9, 10, 11, 12, and 13 and also the actual figure each candidate had, based on which the the EC Chair declared the winner of the 2020 elections.

According to Mr Tsikata, the counsel for the first respondent prayed the court to have the petitioner exercise patience until such time when the chairperson of the first respondent mounts the witness box.

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Upon this, counsel for the petitioner argued that once the chairperson of the first respondent has sworn an affidavit to present his witness statement, it lies on her to step into the witness box and testify to her witness statement, which she has already filed.

Background

Counsel for the petitioner, Tsatsu Tsikata, filed an application for review on the February 11, ruling by the Court in the ongoing election petition.

The crux of the ruling has to do with the refusal of the court to disallow or not compel the chairperson of the first respondent to testify.

In view of this, counsel for the petitioner filed an application on February 16,, after the Supreme Court’s ruling on same day to dismiss the application of the petitioner to subpoena the chairperson of the Electoral Commission to testify but this time as an adverse witness or a hostile witness.

Against this background, the petitioner sort to ask leave of the court to compel the chairperson of the first respondent to appear as a witness, not as witness of the first respondent, due to the February 11, ruling, but as an individual and a public servant who is mandated by the constitution of the republic of Ghana to play integral part in the electoral process of Ghana’s politics.

Not only did counsel for the petitioner file an application to ask for review on the ruling, but also filed to ask leave of the court to stay all proceedings in order that the court will review the February 16 ruling that quashed the petitioner’s application to invoke the inherent jurisdiction of the court to reopen his case, which case will give him leverage to subpoena the chairperson of the first respondent.

 

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