Supreme Court strikes out 5 paragraphs of Mettle-Nunoo’s statement
After hours of listening to legal exchanges, the Supreme Court has struck out some portions of the witness statement of Robert Joseph Rojo Mettle-Nunoo, the third witness for the petitioner in the ongoing case.
A seven-member panel presided over by the Chief Justice Anin Yeboah, in the same breath also maintained portions of the same witness statement.
Paragraphs 4, 5, 6, 7, 18, of the witness statement has been struck out by the court on the basis that it has no foundation with the pleadings.
Paragraph 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 15, 16, 17, 19, 20, 21, 22, 24, 25, 26, 29, 30 and 31, have been maintained, as it is a matter which has its pleadings before the apex court.
The said paragraphs have subsequently been expunged from Mr Mettle-Nunoo 32-paragraph witness statement filed on Thursday, February 4, 2021.
The apex court’s ruling comes after counsel for the second respondent Akoto Ampaw urged the court to toss out some paragraphs of Mr Mettle-Nunoo’s statement.
Mr Mettle-Nunoo is one of the representatives of the petitioner John Dramani Mahama in the ongoing election petition.
The NDC flagbearer Mr Mahama is challenging the results of the 2020 election which was declared in favour of the NPP presidential candidate Nana Akufo-Addo.
It was the case of the president’s counsel Akoto Ampaw that some paragraphs of the witness statement filed by Mr Mettle-Nunoo have no bearing on the matter before the court.
He pointed to paragraphs 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 24, 25, 26, 29, 30 and 31 and claimed they were not in the pleadings of the petitioner.
A total of 23 paragraphs were brought to the attention of the court.
Supporting Mr Ampaw’s submission was counsel for the Electoral Commission Justin Amenuvor.
Tsatsu Tsikata mounted a spirited defense
On the other hand, counsel for the petitioner Tsatsu Tsikata argued that all paragraphs were significant to uncovering the said illegalities that happened during the December 7 general elections.
According to him, there is no basis for striking out any portion of Mr Mettle-Nunoo’s 32-paragraph witness statement filed on Thursday, February 4, 2020.
Mr Tsikata responded to some specific paragraphs which Nana Akufo-Addo’s counsel wanted to be dismissed.
In the case of paragraph 5 which talks about a request for video documentary done by the Electoral Commission, Mr Tsikata said the said video has already been submitted in evidence by the two witnesses of the petitioner – Johnson Asiedu Nketia and Dr Michael Kpessa-Whyte – who gave their statement in the course of the week.
Paragraph 5 of Mr Mettke-Nunoo’s statement said: “The EC had a video documentary person recording the events in the strong room and I have no doubt that if that documentary is made available in its authentic version, it will confirm what I am saying in this witness statement about things that occurred in the strong room”.
Explaining further, Mr Tsikata pointed out that the evidence was not objected to and currently before the Supreme Court.
Hence, “We are respectfully submitting that what is stated in Paragraph 5 is no different from what is already before you about the video documentary”.
Mr Tsikata continued: “All that this witness is adding is that he is willing to put his credibility on the line so that if anybody wants to have recourse to the video, they are entitled to. Depending on the cross-examination we may indeed come before you with an application that that video should be produced in court and played.”
Asiedu’s Nketia fate as well
A similar thing happened when the first witness Johnson Asiedu Nketia filed his statement.
Just before Mr Nketia could testify, counsel for the second respondent Akoto Ampaw raised an objection to 10 key points of the NDC General Secretary’s statement.
Same reason as this one — the said points were not in the pleadings of petitioner John Mahama.
After listening to the legal arguments, the court struck out seven of the 10 paragraphs that were pointed out by the legal team for President Akufo-Addo.
Mr Mettle-Nunoo statement
In Mr Mettle-Nunoo’s 32-paragraph witness statement chronicling some of the major events that occurred in the EC strong room, he accused the EC boss Jean Mensa of not performing her duties well.
He touched on some concerns regarding summary sheets from the Greater Accra, Ashanti, Eastern and Northern Region respectively.
The third witness said in his witness statement that EC officials misled him to sign the regional collation sheet for the Ashanti Region.
The NDC representative explained that he signed the sheet because there was a signature of Mr Mahama’s agent on it.
Mr Mettle-Nunoo said he later realised that the sheet presented to him to sign was inconsistent with a tally of polling station results in the Ashanti Region.
According to him, the EC boss told him that, all the concerns he had raised in the strong room against the collation of the presidential results were genuine.
The case continues on February 8, 2021, to continue with its cross examination of the third witness, Robert Joseph Rojo Mettle-Nunoo.
Below is the witness statement of Mr Mettle-Nunoo