A United States-based Ghanaian Professor Kwaku Asare has said that it is not surprising that the Supreme Court refused to allow the petitioner in the ongoing election petition hearing, John Dramani Mahama to reopen his case.
The apex court has yet again dismissed another application of John Dramani Mahama.
According to the Court, the petitioner, inter alia, has not adduced enough evidence, or an inkling of that, to convince the bench for the case to be re-opened.
Reading the ruling on Tuesday, February 16, Presiding Judge Justice Kwasi Anin-Yeboah said even at the time the application was filed, the petitioner as well as the respondents had closed their cases.
He said the petitioner is not entitled to an application of that nature as a matter of right, an argument he adduced through Counsel Tsatsu Tsikata on Monday, February 15.
Justice Anin-Yeboah, who is also Ghana’s Chief Justice, said such application can be granted by discretion.
“That discretion is, however, one which should be exercised per rules and with restraint as a motion to reopen necessarily involves a balancing of the accountability of counsel for the decisions regarding prosecutions of this case and the interest of justice.
“Accordingly, we weighed the propriety of re-opening proceedings to permit additional evidence to be led or tendered and Court will typically consider three broad questions. Will the evidence, if it had been presented during the trial, have had any influence on the result? [The second question is] could the evidence have been obtained before beginning trial by the exercise of reasonable diligence?”
In tabling his argument on Monday, February 15 for the bench to grant his application for the case to be re-opened, Mr Tsikata said the Chair of the First Respondent, Jean Adukwei Mensa, would have been subpoenaed to appear as a hostile witness.
This the Court found “baffling”, according to Justice Anin-Yeboah.
He, therefore, concluded: “We find no merit or so why the petitioner in his application to reopen his case for the sole purpose of compelling his adversaries’ intended witness to testify through a subpoena without indicating the sort of urgency he intends to solicit from the said witness and how that evidence is going to help the Court in resolving the dispute before us.
“We accordingly refuse the application and proceed without any hesitation to dismiss it.”
Commenting on this development on his Facebook page, Professor Asare said “No surprise! Another unanimous dismissal of the Petitioner’s application to subpoena the election manager for examination.
“This goes with the unanimous rejection of the petitioner’s request for production, interrogatories and request for admissions from the election manager. The petitioner is within its right to file further processes.
“But if you cannot get discovery and you cannot examine the election manager, what exactly do you expect to get from the Court?
“If they would have given you more they would have started by giving you a full plate.”
By Laud Nartey|3news.com|Ghana