The Presidential Candidate of the National Democratic Congress (NDC) in last year’s elections, John Dramani Mahama, says by the conduct of the current Electoral Commission, Ghana (EC), it is not qualified to superintend over any elections in the country.
He said one major objective of the petition he filed at the Supreme Court was to hold the Chair of the Commission, Jean Adukwei Mensa, accountable for her conduct in the presidential elections on Monday, December 7.
“The vital part of the process to establish the truth and hold Mrs Mensa accountable was blocked time and again by protective cordon and firewall that I am sure has confounded many Ghanaians.”
But he said her refusal to appear before the Court for testimony was “in sharp contrast to the readiness with which Dr Kwadwo Afari Djan, then Chairman of the Electoral Commission willingly testified in the 2013 election petition filed by then candidate Nana Akufo-Addo of the NPP”.
According to Mr Mahama, Ghanaians were hoping to hear Mrs Mensa testify.
“[But all of them] are still baffled by the refusal of Mrs Jean Mensa to be held to account by testifying in this case unfortunately with the unanimous agreement of the justices of the Supreme Court.”
Counsel for Mr Mahama was disappointed by the refusal of the respondents to present their witnesses for testimony despite having filed written statements.
This forced Tsatsu Tsikata to file for a re-opening of the case and invite Mrs Mensa as a “hostile” or “adverse” witness.
But his application was unanimously dismissed by the Court. A challenge to that ruling was dismissed same.
Speaking to journalists and a few party supporters at his Cantonments office on Thursday, March 4, Mr Mahama said the action by the Supreme Court not to allow Mrs Mensa to mount the witness box is a bad precedent for the country.
“Speaking as a Ghanaian with no legal training, I believe that the refusal by the Electoral Commission Chairperson to testify in this election petition leaves a very bad precedent for the future,” he poured out.
“I disagree with the suggestions of our justices that an election petition is akin to any other civil litigation and therefore an EC chairperson whose functions go to the heart of our democracy can by a legal sleight of hand avoid accounting for her stewardship in an appropriate forum such as the highest court of the land.”
By Emmanuel Kwame Amoh|3news.com|Ghana