A spokesperson for the petitioner’s lawyers in the ongoing election petition hearing at the Supreme Court, Mr Abraham Amaliba, has said they still have a strong case before the court even though portions of the witness statement of one of the petitioners’ witnesses, Johnson Asiedu Nketia, have been struck out.
The Supreme Court on Friday January 29, struck out seven portions of the witness statement by the General Secretary of the National Democratic Congress (NDC) in the ongoing hearing of the election petition.
Lead counsel for the second respondent, President Akufo-Addo, Mr Akoto Ampaw, told the court 10 paragraphs in Mr Asiedu Nketia’s statement should be deleted because in his view, they are “not based on the pleadings of the petitioner, unduly prejudicial and scandalous”.
Lead Counsel for the petitioners, Tsatsu Tsikata however objected to the move.
But the court struck out some portions and maintained the others.
Paragraphs 6 and 7 struck out. Paragraph 21 maintained. End part Paragraph 25 struck out. Part of Paragraph 26 struck out. Part of Paragraph 28 struck out. Paragraph entirely 30 struck out. Paragraphs 32 and 33 and maintained. Paragraph 37 struck out
The court adjourned the case to Monday February 1.
Asked whether this development affects the strength of their case while speaking on the Key Points on TV3 Saturday January 30, Mr Amaliba said “Does it affect our case? No! It doesn’t”
He further told host Abena Tabi that “Knowing who our lead counsel is, these same questions can be rephrased during cross examination. So it doesn’t hurt our case.”
A former Member of Parliament for Tempane, Joseph Kpemka Dindiok speaking on the same show cautioned against the verbal attacks on all the lawyers involved in the petition.
He further said on Monday February 1, video tapes of the petitioner are going to be played in court.
Mr Asiedu Nketiah, Friday raised a concern in the Supreme Court that counsel for the 1st Respondent Electoral Commission of Ghana (EC) addressed him as though he were the petitioner.
He took his turn in the witness box at the Supreme Court as the first witness of the petitioner to be crossed examined.
While counsel for the EC was “putting it to” masked Mr. Nketiah in the witness box who provided answers where required, it got to a point where he got seemingly alarmed by the line of questioning.
The counsel for the EC, Lawyer Justin Amenuvor had made reference to some analysis the petitioner did on the Techiman South results and arrived at a conclusion that the EC Chair was wrong with her figures when she declared Akufo-Addo President on December 9, 2020.
The lawyer pointed out to Mr. Aseidu that the analysis was not accurate.
“I’m putting it to you that using all the total valid votes in the Techiman South constituency, that’s the total registered voters (sic) in the Techiman South Constituency to do your analysis is incorrect and I’m putting that to you”, he said.
Aseidu Nketia disagreed, explaining that their analysis on that issue was informed by what the 1st Respondent Electoral Commission chairperson, Jean Mensa had said on December 9, 2020 when she declared the Presidential Election Results in favor of the 2nd Respondent Akufo-Addo
“So the analysis we did there was to show that based on the figures she herself declared, that statement could not be correct”, he explained.
Counsel insisted the witness knew that the Chairperson of the EC was right in her analysis as at the time she was declaring the said results and that it was stated in the petition and same confirmed by the 1st Respondent.
Mr. Nketiah wanted to clarify if the EC lawyer was referring to him as the one who he knew the EC chair was right. The lawyer answered in the affirmative, adding “so the petitioner stated that in the petition that that ought to be the correct number and the 1st Respondent agreed too”.
“I’m putting it to you that you knew”, Lawyer Justin stood his grounds demanding an answer to that query.
Mr. Nketia was hesitant with the answer at this point. He felt the lawyer had mistaken him for the petitioner.
“My lord, I don’t understand why you seem to be confusing me with the petitioner, my Lord, I don’t understand”, he said, while laughing.
The court was thrown into laughter.
That however did not stop the lawyer from demanding his answers.
By Laud Nartey|3news.com|Ghana