Election Petition: Asiedu Nketia, others to enter witness box from Jan 29
The Supreme Court has fixed Friday, January 29, 2021, to start the examination of key witnesses proposed by parties in the election petition case.
The witnesses will give their individual accounts of events that saw the NPP presidential candidate, Nana Akufo-Addo, winning the December 7 polls.
Per the witness statements filed, the petitioner is set to call two key witnesses –the NDC General Secretary Johnson Asiedu Nketia and Dr Michael Kpessa-Whyte who was Mr Mahama’s representative at the Electoral Commission’s national collation centre (strong room).
The legal team for the Electoral Commission (EC) and President Nana Akufo-Addo will also call their witnesses to the stand.
Ahead of Friday’s hearing, in his witness statement filed in support of Mr Mahama’s case, Mr Nketia accused the EC boss of bias in the conduct of the 2020 elections.
He explained that Mrs Jean Adukwei Mensa was bias due to her “close familial relationship” with the wife of the second respondent, Rebecca Akufo-Addo.
President Akufo-Addo is the second respondent in the election petition filed by the 2020 NDC presidential candidate, John Dramani Mahama.
According to the NDC General Secretary, the bias conduct of the EC Chair goes contrary to Article 296 of the constitution which requires fairness in the discharge of her duty.
“The Chairperson of the 1st Respondent, Mrs. Jean Adukwei Mensa, allowed herself to be biased by her prejudice in favour of 2nd Respondent, who appointed her in August 2018 and with whose wife Mrs. Jean Adukwei Mensa has a close familial relationship.
“Mrs. Jean Adukwei Mensa was thus, at all material times in the conduct of her responsibilities, biased by prejudice in favour of the 2nd Respondent and against the Petitioner,” Asiedu Nketia said in his witness statement to the apex court.
Dr Michael Kpessa-Whyte, on the other hand, faulted the EC boss for shelving detected errors that affected the NDC’s fortunes.
Dr Kpessa-Whyte said that as one of Mr Mahama’s representatives in the EC’s ‘Strongroom’, he noticed many material irregularities during the entire December 7 election process.
On January 20, the apex court had ordered the petitioner to file his witness statements by 4:00pm on Thursday, January 21, 2020.
The Electoral Commission (1st respondent) and President Akufo-Addo (2nd respondent) were ordered by the court to file their witness statements by close of day Friday, January, 22, 2021.
While the EC and President Akufo-Addo filed their witness statements, Mr Mahama did not comply with the orders of the court.
It rather filed a stay of proceedings to halt the ongoing election petition hearing.
The petitioners wanted a review of the court’s interrogatories ruling, which prevented them from dragging the EC boss to the witness stand.
But the court was lenient and gave them another opportunity to file the witness statements on January 27, which they did.