EC, Akufo-Addo closes cases but Petitioner Lawyer insists cross examination of EC
Both respondents in the ongoing election petition hearing have announced its intention to close its case as it is satisfied with proceedings so far.
The respondents (Electoral Commission and President Nana Akufo-Addo) on Monday told the Supreme Court that the team does not intend to put any witness in the box.
In law, the closure of case means the respondent are satisfied and will not pursue further legal proceedings.
In the election petition case, the witness is backed by the constitutional instrument rule 87, to either present or not present its witness before the court.
Counsel for the Electoral Commission, Justin Amenuvor was the first to announce its intention. This was followed shortly by Counsel for the second respondent Akoto Ampaw.
“Upon listening to the witnesses there is absolutely no need to call on our witness. We are satisfied and do not wish to call any witness.
“We do not wish to lead any further evidence and therefore we are praying that this matter proceeds under Order 36 Rule 43 and C.I. 87 rule 3, we hereby and on that basis close our case,” the two said at different points.
The decision comes after both respondents had earlier filed witness statements on behalf of the EC Chairperson Jean Mensa for the first respondent and Peter Mac Manu for the second respondent.
Counsel for the petitioner, Tsatsu Tsikata, however disagreed.
He was of the opinion that the two parties are evading examination as it will expose the said illegalities that characterised the December 7 elections.
The seven-member panel sided with the respondents, adding that they are at liberty to do so.
The Supreme court has fixed February 9, 2021, to hear legal arguments to that effect.
Should the apex court rule in the respondent’s favour, the court will go ahead and make a determination of the case based on the testimonies of the three witnesses from the petitioner’s side.
In all, three persons have testified in support of the Petitioner John Dramani Mahama.
First to testify was the NDC General Secretary Johnson Asiedu Nketia, Dr Michael Kpessa-Whyte and Robert Joseph Rojo Mettle-Nunoo, who both acted as representatives for the petitioner in the EC strong room.
But, provided the seven-member panel rules in favour of the petitioner, the respondents will be forced to call their witnesses to the stand.