The lead lawyer for John Mahama in the Election Petition case, Tsatsu Tsikata is seeking to have the Chairperson of the Electoral Commission, Jean Mensa dragged into the witness box and cross-examined through a subpoena application.
Mr. Tsikata is seeking to trigger this process after his objection to a decision by the Electoral Commission and President Akufo-Addo, first and second respondents not to call any witness was dismissed.
Chief Justice Kwasi Anin-Yeboah who read the ruling in court on Thursday, February 11, 2021, said the judges were not convinced by the contrary arguments made by Tsatsu Tsikata, lead counsel for the petitioner.
He also said they were given a limited jurisdiction in the Election Petition case and that they do not intend to go beyond that jurisdiction.
“We are minded to state that our jurisdiction invoked in this election petition is a limited jurisdiction clearly circumscribed by law. We do not intend to extend our mandate beyond what the law requires of us in such petitions brought under Article 64 (1) challenging the validity of the election of a president. Simply put, we are not convinced, and we will not yield to the invitation being extended to us by counsel for the petitioner to order the respondents to enter the witness box to be cross-examined. Accordingly, we hereby overrule the objection raised by the counsel for the petitioner against the decision of the respondents declining to adduce evidence in this petition,” he added.
Mr. Tsikata had closed the case and was seeking to cross-examine Jean Mensa, but his hopes were dashed as the respondents refused to open their defence and also closed their cases.
The lead counsel, Mr. Justin Amenovor on Monday, February 8, 2021, indicated to the court that the 1st respondent [Electoral Commission] does not intend to call any witness to testify and relied on Order 36 Order sub-rule 4 and 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.
Likewise, lead counsel for President Nana Akufo-Addo, Akoto Ampaw also announced that the New Patriotic Party’s 2020 Campaign Manager, Peter Mac Manu would not be taking the witness box for cross-examination.
Mr. Ampaw argued that the petitioner has not been able to make a solid case in court hence the decision to close their case.
But Tsatsu Tsikata disagreed.
Mr. Tsikata thus accused Mrs. Mensa of evading cross-examination. He subsequently told the court that they intend to re-open their case.
The court, however, directed the petitioner and the respondents to file their closing statements by February 17, 2021.