TSATSU MAKES SUPERIOR ARGUMENT *To justify why Jean Mensa should be in witness box

Lead Counsel for the petitioner in the ongoing election petition hearing at the Supreme Court has said a decision by lawyers of the first Respondent in the case to refrain from presenting their witness, to testify is an affront to justice.   According lawyer Tsatsu Tsikata the Chairperson of the Electoral Commission (EC),Jean Adukwei Mensa in her witness statement and supporting affidavits in response to the petitioner to the apex court showed readiness for cross-examination.   Mr Tsikata therefore contended that the objection for the EC’s boss to mount the witness box for cross-examination “is not only an affront to justice but is not in accordance with the rules of the court.”   “By filing its witness statement, the first respondent has clearly crossed the bridge as far as opening up the witness for cross-examining is concerned,” he told the court.   He indicated that she cannot rescind her decision now “unless there is a good reason for her to do so”.   “The EC should be openly put to this court and the court may have the power to disallow this change. She has made representations to this court and other parties in this case.   “She has made her representations in all affidavits filed and she cannot now resign from those representations unless there is good reason,” Mr. Tsikata further told the court.   The counsel for the petitioner advanced his argument that since the lawyers for the first and second respondents did not make a submission of no case, “the burden of proof does not apply” as argued .   Mr. Tsikata also explained that the EC Chair had earlier indicated during the application for some interrogatories to be served that she was going to submit herself to cross-examination; the basis for which the court took the decision to dismiss Mr. Mahama’s application.   He insisted that the statement by the EC’s Chairperson, through various affidavits available binds her to be cross-examined.   Mr. Tsikata further told the apex court that the EC Chair also has a constitutional duty to give accounts of events that led to the December 9, 2020 election declarations and to clarify how some errors were made.   To this end Mr. Tsikata maintained that Order 38, rule 3 (e) sub-rule 1 and 5 of CI 47 as amended by CI 87 did not apply to the current situation.   Earlier, the counsels for the first and second Respondents said they would not call forth any witnesses to adduce evidence in court in the matter before the apex court.   ,The counsels for the two respondents cited Order 38, rule 3 (e) sub-rule 1 and 5 of CI 47 as amended by CI 87 as the basis for their decision to close their case and not call a witness. Both counsels told the highest court of the land that they had expected the petitioner to be happy with their decision since it works in his favour.   Lead counsel for the EC, Justin Amenuvor, supporting his argument with Section 62 of the Evidence Act, held the view that the court could not compel his client to testify against her will, while lead counsel for the President, Akoto Ampaw maintained that the burden of proof lies with the petitioner and not the respondents.   Meanwhile, the apex court will, on February 11, 2021, decide on the fate of the EC’s Chair, and whether or not she should mount the witness box.   Story:Atta KWAKU BOADI  

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *