Election Petition: EC ‘running away’ from cross-examination – Tsikata alleges

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Lead counsel for John Dramani Mahama, Tsatsu Tsikata has accused the Electoral Commission Chairperson, Jean Mensa of evading cross-examination.

This was after lawyers for the EC and President Akufo-Addo had indicated that they do not intend to open their defence or call witnesses.

The submission by the counsels for the 1st and 2nd Respondent follows the cross-examination of three witnesses testifying on behalf of the 2020 NDC presidential candidate.

Mr. Mahama had filed witness statements for the NDC’s General Secretary, Johnson Asiedu Nketia, Dr. Kpessa-Whyte and Rojo Mettle-Nunoo.

These individuals were subsequenly cross-examined by lawyers for President Akufo-Addo and the EC.

Following the discharge of Rojo Mettle-Nunoo, Lawyer Tsikata informed the court that the petitioner had closed his case.

But in an interesting twist, the lawyers for the respondents who had already indicated that they will call one witness each told the court they have rescinded that decision.

The two counsels argued that the evidence presented by the witnesses for the petitioner and from cross-examination does not support the reliefs being requested by Mr. Mahama in the petition filed.

Citing Order 36 Rule 43 and C.I 87 rule 3 (e) 5, lead counsel for the EC, Justin Amenuvor told the 7-member panel of judges that the EC was satisfied with proceedings so far and asked the court to make a determination on the petition before it.

But Tsatsu Tsikata disagreed.

He alleged that the move by the 1st and 2nd Respondents is a deliberate attempt by the EC Chairperson, Jean Mensa to avoid cross examination which will expose the illegalities that characterised the December 7 elections.

Explaining further, Lawyer Tsikata also said the request by the counsel for the Respondent was not in line with Order 36 Rule 43 and CI 87 rule 3 (e) 5 as stated.

But the judges sided with the respondents, adding that the witnesses cannot be compelled to testify.

The case has since been adjourned to Tuesday, February 9 for legal arguments on whether or not the respondents can opt not to call witnesses.

Source:myjoyonline.com