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Jean Mensa can’t run away from my cross-examination – Tsatsu Tsikata

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Lawyer Tsatsu Tsikata who is the lead counsel for the flagbearer of the NDC and petitioner John Dramani Mahama has disclosed that there is no way the Chairperson of the Electoral Commission Jean Mensa can run away from cross-examination.

Yesterday, the petitioner in the ongoing election petition closed his case in court after their third witness Rojo Mettle-Nunoo finished with his cross examination.

At the end of their case, it was expected that the first respondent which is the EC commissioner would open her defence and mount the witness box and allow herself to be cross-examined by the lawyer of the petitioner Tsatsu Tsikata by her lawyers officially told the court she was not going to mount the witness box.

This move new twist got lawyer Tsatsu Tsikata to object to the motion by the lawyer for the Jean Mensa stating that she couldn’t run away from cross examination in this crutial matter.

Mr Tsatsu Tsikata, counter-argued: “It is our respectful submission that counsel for the first respondent that not have it opened to him to take the course that he just proposed to this court. Order 36 Rule 4(3) that he referred to, specifically says: ‘Where the defendant elects not to adduce evidence’. In this proceedings, the defendant has put in a witness statement.”

“The election that they made to submit the witness statement to the court, is a clear a clear indication that they made an election to the contrary because My Lords, in these proceedings, at the point of case management, Your Lordships basically asked questions from all parties as regards witnesses being called and it is at the point of case management where such an election is notified to the court.

“At that point, they elected to submit a witness statement. Now, that witness statement is not yet in evidence; that is true, but this is referring to an election; the point of election came at the point of the case management and we are respectfully submitting that this witness cannot run away from cross-examination when they have elected”, he argued.

Chief Justice Anin Yeboah, however, asked Mr Tsikata to tone down on his choice of words, saying “evade” would have been a more appropriate word to use, to which Mr Mahama’s lawyer conceded.

Some of the Justices on the Bench also engaged Mr Tsikata with some questions about whether his arguments meant a witness must, by all means, mount the dock even against his or her wish.

Justice Gertrude Torkornoo, for instance wondered if it did not border on human rights.

“Mr Tsikata I want to understand something; are you suggesting that a witness can be compelled to give evidence? Mr Tsikata isn’t compelling someone to testify a human rights questions? Nobody can compel a witness to testify”.

 

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2020 Election Petition: “We’ve No Reason To Order A Re-Run” – Supreme Court Tells Mahama In Final Ruling

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The Supreme Court by a unanimous decision has ruled the 2020 election petition against the petitioner, John Dramani Mahama.

In a ruling delivered by the Chief Justice Anin Yeboah, “the petition is dismissed as without merits”.

According to the Supreme Court the petitioner did not present to the court any figure to prove his case.

He further indicated that the burden of proof lied on the petitioner to prove that the declaration of results was flawed.

“The petitioner did not demonstrate how the alleged errors affected the validity of the declaration on the 9th. The petitioner has not produced any evidence . . . we have therefore no reason to order a re-run, we accordingly dismiss the petition,” the final ruling indicated.

Fanciful tale

He described the testimonies of the two witnesses by the petitioner as a fanciful tale and that it was only the statement given by the General Secretary of the National Democratic Congress (NDC) that had something to do with the petition.

He emphasized that their testimonies didn’t carry any weight and that they have to blame themselves for abandoning their post.

The court therefore found it unworthy of consideration.

Address of issues to be determined

1. Whether or not the petition discloses any reasonable cause of action

The court said there was a reasonable cause.

The Chief Justice said the court is convinced that the petitioner raised a cause of action and that the argument to dismiss the case by the respondents because it was weak did not hold.

2. Whether or not based on the data contained in the declaration of the 1st Respondent (EC), no candidate obtained more than 50% of the valid votes cast as required by article 63 (3) of the 1992 constitution

The Chief Justice said even though there is no doubt that the Chairperson made a mistake while announcing the figures, it was corrected.

The Chief Justice the went through some questions put to Johnson Asiedu Nketia, the star witness of the petitioner.

it is wrong for the petition to hold on to the errors made by the 1st respondent and that the threshold to declare a president is based on total valid votes cast and not the total vote cast

there is evidence on record to show that the second respondent obtained more than 50 percent and so the second issue does not find favour before the court.

The court insists the EC had the right to make the changes.

3. Whether or not the 2nd Respondent still met the article 63 (3) of the 1992 constitution threshold by the exclusion or inclusion of the Techiman South constituency Presidential Election Results of 2020

The Chief Justice said the second respondent made more than the 50 percent threshold with the exclusion or inclusion of the Techiman South results

4. Whether or not the declaration by the 1st Respondent dated the 9th of December was in violation of article 63 (3) of the 1992 constitution

The Chief Justice indicated that the error in the declaration on 9th December did not affect the results and that it is insufficient to state that there was a violation of Article 63 (3) of the 1992 constitution.

The court is satisfied and states that the figures announced were right and they did not violate Article 63 (3) of the 1992 constitution.

It said the petitioner did not provide enough evidence to back their claim that the declaration by the EC Chairperson was wrong.

“The errors made by the EC cannot take away the true will of the people,” the Supreme Court stated.

5. Whether or not the alleged vote padding and other errors complained of by the petitioner affected the outcome of the Presidential Election results of 2020.

The Chief Justice said the petitioner did not prove his vote padding allegation.

“We find the allegation of vote padding very serious . . . we have observed that this allegation was not proved”.

“We are settled in our minds that the allegation was not proved by credible evidence. Even if it took place it was not substantial to change the results,” Chief Justice Anin Yeboah said.

Conclusion

“The petitioner did not demonstrate how the alleged errors affected the validity of the declaration on the 9th. The petitioner has not produced any evidence . . . we have therefore no reason to order a re-run, we accordingly dismiss the petition”.

Source: Peacefmonline.com

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NDC ‘Admits’ Losing 2020 Presidential Election

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Barely a day to the Supreme Court’s ruling on the 2020 election petition hearing, the opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC) has subtly admitted losing the presidential last year.

It would be recalled that lawyers for the flagbearer of NDC, John Mahama, on December 30, 2020, after series of street protests by supporters of the party, filed a lawsuit, challenging the results of the 2020 presidential election.

In a statement at the time, the NDC indicated that the petition detailed “serious violations of the 1992 Constitution by the Electoral Commission and its Chairperson and Returning Officer for the Presidential Election, Mrs. Jean Adukwei Mensa in the conduct of their constitutional and legal responsibility.”

According to the party, the petition, among other things, sought a declaration from the Supreme Court to the effect that, “the purported declaration of the results of the 2020 Presidential Election on the 9th day of December 2020 is unconstitutional, null and void and of no effect whatsoever.”

But after weeks of legal tussle, the party seemed to have admitted that indeed, its candidate, Mr Mahama lost the election.

Despite calling for a rerun between Mr Mahama and incumbent President Nana Akufo-Addo In its Petition, the NDC in a letter dated March 2, 2021, and addressed to the Electoral Commission Chairperson, Jean Mensa, said it did not obtain required 50.1 percent to win the race.

According to the letter signed by NDC General Secretary, Johnson Asiedu Nketiah, requesting for a refund of its presidential and parliamentary filing fees, the NDC indicated that it obtained 47.397%.

In the letter dated March 2, 2021, the NDC’s Functional Executive Committee (FEC) informed the EC boss that “it is formally requesting for a refund of deposits it made in respect of its presidential and parliamentary candidates.”

The party cited Regulations 46 (1) and 46 (3) of C.I. 127 to back its demand.

According to NDC, Regulations 46 (1) and 46 (3) of C.I. 127 “spell out the conditions for a refund or forfeiture of deposits made by presidential or parliamentary candidates.

It noted that regulations spell out that “a presidential or parliamentary candidate must obtain a minimum of 25% and 12.5% respectively in a general election to qualify for a refund.”

Credit: Dailyguidenetwork.com

 

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Dismiss Mahama’s strange election petition – EC tell Supreme Court

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The Electoral Commission (EC), 1st Respondent in the ongoing Election Petition at Ghana’s Supreme Court, says the petition is a strange one with the Petitioner not having evidence to challenge the December 7, 2020, election result which was declared on December 9, 2020.

“It is unfortunate that an innocuous error made by the Chairperson of the 1st Respondent in the declaration of the results on December 9, 2020, which had no bearing on the outcome of the election results has triggered this Petition,” parts of the 66-page written address by counsel for the EC said.

“As part of the 1st Respondent’s efforts to strengthen its electoral processes and build a further layer of accountability and scrutiny in its work, the 1st Respondent in collaboration with the Attorney General’s Department and subsidiary legislation committee of the Parliament of Ghana developed a Constitutional Instrument (CI 127) to govern the conduct of elections.”

The EC’s counsel insisted, “CI 127 introduced the Regional Collation Centres which provide an avenue for the involvement and participation of Candidates’ Agents in the collation of the Presidential Election Results at the Regional Collation Centres. This is a departure from the past where 275 constituency collation results were faxed directly to the Returning Officer at the National Collation Centre. Today the Returning Officer receives at the NCC [National Collation Centre aka Strong Room] only 16 Regional Results comprising all the constituencies in each Region. This is a major improvement and tidier and more efficient results collation process.”

John Dramani Mahama, the Petitioner and flagbearer for the NDC in the December 7 elections is praying the Supreme Court of Ghana to annul the results of the presidential election declared by the Chairperson of the 1st Respondent on December 9, 2020.

He argues that figures from the 1st Respondent show clearly that none of the candidates met the constitutional threshold of winning the election with more than 50 per cent of the total valid votes.

But the EC, together with Nana Akufo-Addo who was declared president-elect “prays for a dismissal of the Petition”.

The Supreme Court has set March 4, 2021, to deliver judgement.

 

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