Election Petition: The onus is on petitioner to adduce evidence – Gabby

The petitioner in the ongoing presidential election petition hearing at the Supreme Court has the sole responsibility to adduce evidence to support his claim, Gabby Asare Otchere-Darko, a leading member of the New Patriotic Party (NPP), has said.

He explained that it is when the petitioner has provided evidence to the effect that no candidate obtained the 50% plus 1 vote to win last year’s polls that the respondents will also rebut with evidence.

His comment comes after lawyer for the Electoral Commission (EC) Justin Amenuvor on Monday, February 8 moved to close his case in the ongoing hearing after the cross-examination of the third witness of the petitioner, Rojo Mettle Nunoo, without Jean Mensa being cross-examined.

Mr Amenuvor told the court that given the evidence of the petitioner’s witnesses who were cross-examined in the case, they do not want to lead any further evidence.

“Given the evidence of the petitioner’s witnesses under cross examination so far, of those witnesses, speaking for the 1st respondent, it is the 1st respondent’s case that we do not wish to lead any further evidence and therefore we are praying that this matter proceeds under Oder 36 Rule 43 and CI 87 rule 3 (e) 5, we hereby and on that basis close our case.”

Lead counsel for the petitioner Tsatsu Tsikata, however, objected to the move by lawyer for the 1st Respondent.

But in a tweet, Mr Otchere-Darko, who is the former Executive Director of the Danquah Institute, stated: “The onus is on the petitioner to adduce credible evidence to prove his case that 2nd respondent did not win with more than 50% of the valid votes cast before it becomes necessary for the respondents to call evidence to rebuff the petitioner’s assertion.”

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Meanwhile, spokesperson of the lawyers of the petitioner Dr Dominic Ayine has said that the respondents are embarking on a dangerous path by electing not to testify in the case.

Dr Ayine wondered on Joy News Monday, February 8 why the respondents will take such a decision in the face of the dire consequences it may have on them in the case.

He also said for the sake of accountability, the Chair of the 1st Respondent, Jean Mensa, should mount the witness box to testify.

By Laud Nartey|3news.com|Ghana