Renowned private legal practitioner, Ace Ankomah, has argued why it may be irrelevant to unmask ace investigative Journalist Anas Aremeyaw Anas at the ongoing judicial Committee looking into the scandalous judicial bribery that has rocked the nation.
Some of the implicated individuals in the scandal have demanded that the journalist, whose investigative piece culminated in the setting up of the committee, removes the mask that conceals his face.
Their argument is premised on claims that is impossible to observe Anas’ demeamour as a witness in the case while his face is covered.
The Committee on Wednesday rejected one of such demands by Egbert Faibil Jnr, lawyer for one of the judicial staff in the case. Mr. Faibile and his client, one Gabriel have threatened to head for the High Court to compel Anas to remove his trademark mask.
But in a Facebook post, Mr. Ankomah who has closely been following the case, has assessed the argument put forth for the removal of Anas’ mask, citing the Evidence Act and legal authorities from the High Court to suggest why unmasking Anas will have little or no effect on the case.
Quoting section 80 of the Evidence Act, he said although demeanour is relevant only to determining the credibility of the witness, it is only one of the “matters relevant to the determination of the credibility of the witness.”
Echoing the view of the Supreme Court in the case of Ntiri & Another v Essien & Another, reported in the 2001-2002 Supreme Court Ghana Law Report  and other cases, Mr. Ankomah said observing and deciding whether or not to rely upon the demeanour of a witness is a matter for the court, not a party or counsel.
“Indeed, the Supreme Court has been at pains to explain that there are circumstances where the demeanour of a witness is of little importance in determining a matter,” he contended.
Mr. Ankomah who is the Managing Partner at Bentsi-Enchill, Letsa & Ankomah, said that last year, the Supreme Court unanimously appeared to have put to rest any argument that a court cannot determine a matter if it did not have the opportunity to observe the demeanour of a witness.
He noted the case would force the country’s courts to address many “intricate legal matters”, which he said would be good for Ghana and its legal system, saying “let’s see what the coming days hold for us who have nothing else to do with our time but study the law”.
By: Stephen Kwabena Effah|3news.com|Ghana