John Mahama’s legal team in the election petition has expressed satisfaction with the court’s decision to maintain the bulk of their third witness’ statement, made by Robert Joseph Mettle-Nunoo, despite objections from President Nana Akufo-Addo’s counsel.
Addressing the press, one of Mahama’s spokespersons, Dr. Dominic Ayine described it as “a great victory”.
Dr. Ayine admitted that, his side was “taken aback” by the objections to 23 out of 32 paragraphs from Mr. Mettle-Nunoo’s statement.
But he noted that the Supreme Court panel appreciated the evidence in the witness statement “that was necessary to ground their petition.”
“For instance, we made it clear in our petition that the Chairperson of the Electoral Commission had acted in an unfair, arbitrary and capricious manner and the evidence of Rojo Mettle-Nunoo was meant to make it clear the extent to which the Chairperson was capricious, arbitrary and unfair [to us],” Dr. Ayine explained.
Akoto Ampaw, President Akufo-Addo’s lead lawyer, had objected to the bulk of the witness statement saying it did not have bearing on the petition, among others.
Mr. Ampaw, with the backing of the Electoral Commission’s lawyer, also said this new statement was an attempt to cover for lapses in earlier testimony made by Dr. Kpessa-Whyte, Mr. Mahama’s second witness.
Responding to today’s proceedings, President Akufo-Addo’s team downplayed the significance of the Supreme Court’s ruling.
Regardless of the outcome, Kojo Oppong Nkrumah, one of the President’s spokespersons, said his side was making progress gradually.
He also reiterated his side’s assertion that Mr. Mettle-Nunoo’s statement was evidence of lapses in Dr. Kpessa-Whyte’s testimony.
He said Mr. Mahama was “seeking to correct or salvage parts of that case” with Mr. Mettle-Nunoo’s statement.
“They [Mahama’s team] described it as a great victory because Dr. Kpessa-Whyte’s testimony fell flat,” Mr. Oppong Nkrumah said.
Mr. Mettle-Nunoo is of interest because he had claimed that he was instructed by the Chairperson of the EC, Jean Mensa, to go and consult with Mr. Mahama over some grievances, whilst at the National Collation Centre in his capacity as the NDC flagbearer’s agent.
This led to them being absent from the National Collation Centre when the election results were declared.
In the substantive case, Mr. Mahama is in court challenging the results of the 2020 presidential polls saying President Akufo-Addo failed to obtain the requisite number of votes to be declared the winner because the votes from the Techiman South constituency were not factored into the declaration.
He is thus asking the Supreme Court to, among other things, declare the 2020 presidential polls null and void and further order the EC to conduct a re-run of the election between himself and President Akufo-Addo.