Lead Counsel for the petitioner in the ongoing Presidential election petition hearing, Tsatsu Tsikata has told the Supreme Court that there is sufficient basis to grant the request to subpoena the chairperson of the 1st Respondent, Jean Adukwei Mensa to testify in the case.
Mr Tsikata had argued in court on Monday February 15 that, the affidavit of the 1st Respondent indicated that she was going to testify, a proposition that resulted in the earlier decision of the petitioner to close his case for that to happen.
“We had the expectation that the chairperson of the 1st Respondent will testify” hence the closure of the case.
“The Chairperson of the 1st Respondent has in affidavit made clear that the petitioner will in no way be prejudiced because the questions that the petitioner sought to have in interrogatories those will be subject matter in cross examination,” Mr Tsikata told the court.
He added “There is a sufficient basis from the circumstances that arose on 9th of February when we close our case and when there was expectation that the choir of the 1st respondent will actually come and testify.”
Meanwhile, Mrs Adukwei Mensa, has sworn an affidavit, praying the Supreme Court to dismiss a fresh application filed by petitioner in the election petition case John Dramani Mahama to reopen the case.
According to Mrs Mensa, the application is not warranted by any rule of law or procedure “and the same should be dismissed by this Honourable Court”.
She indicated that Mr Mahama’s application is “creating the erroneous impression that this application is made at my behest”.
The Chair of the Commission explained that at no time had she informed the petitioner nor his lawyers of her desire to testify in the case.
Lawyers of Mr Mahama on Thursday, February 11 declared their intention to re-open the case in order to subpoena Mrs Mensa as the Returning Officer of last year’s presidential elections to testify.
It followed the unanimous dismissal of an earlier application to force witnesses of both respondents – EC and Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo – to appear in the witness box.
The respondents had closed their case by voting not to present their witnesses in court.
But the petitioner filed the application to get the Chair of the EC, in particular, to make an appearance in the interest of the public.
In her affidavit, calling for the dismissal of the petitioner’s application, Mrs Mensa stated: “I believe that there are more convenient fora (forums) for ventilating the so-called public interest issues and further that this should not form the basis of the Petitioner re-opening his case in a Presidential Elections Petition in Court.”
She expressed surprise how the petitioner, after closing his case on his own volition, will come back again to request that the case be re-open.
“I am advised that even if this Court grants leave for the Petitioner to reopen its case; it ought not cause a subpoena to be issued against me because a subpoena is issued with coercive effect.
“The Honourable Court, having held that I rightly exercised the option of my right not to testify would be overriding its earlier decision to order that I be compelled to testify.”
By Laud Nartey|3news.com|Ghana