Why is EC ‘running away’ from cross-examination— Tsikata quizzes
Lead counsel for John Dramani Mahama, Tsatsu Tsikata has accused the Electoral Commission Chairperson, Jean Mensa of evading cross-examination.
This follows, Justin Amenuvor, lawyer for the first respondent quest to withdraw or not to open defense.
President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo’s lawyer, Akoto Ampaw in similar also indicated that he does not intend to open defence or call witnesses.
The submission by the counsels for the first and second Respondent follows the cross-examination of the three witnesses, Mr Johnson Asiedu Nketia, Dr Michael Kpessa-Whyte and Rojo Mettle-Nunoo testifying on behalf of the 2020 National Democratic Congress (NDC) presidential candidate.
These individuals were subsequently cross-examined by lawyers for President Akufo-Addo and the EC.
Following the discharge of Rojo Mettle-Nunoo, Lawyer Tsikata informed the court that the petitioner had closed his case.
But an interesting twist that erupted from the case was that the lawyers for both respondents rescinded on their decision to make Mrs Mensa and Mr Peter Mc Manu testify or defend their case.
The two counsels argued that the evidence presented by the witnesses for the petitioner and from cross-examination did not support the reliefs being requested by Mr Mahama in the petition filed.
Citing Order 36 Rule 43 and C.I 87 rule 3 (e) 5, lead counsel for the EC, Justin Amenuvor told the seven-member panel of judges that the EC was satisfied with proceedings so far and asked the court to make a determination on the petition before it which Mr Tsikata disagreed.
He alleged that the move by the first and Second Respondents was a deliberate attempt by the lawyer to avoid the EC Chairperson, Jean Mensa to be cross examined.
The cross examination, Mr Tsikata said would expose the illegalities that characterised the December 7 elections.
Explaining further, he said the request by the counsel for the Respondent was not in line with Order 36 Rule 43 and CI 87 rule 3 (e) 5 as stated.
But the judges sided with the respondents, adding that the witnesses cannot be compelled to testify.
The case has since been adjourned to Tuesday, February 9 for legal arguments on whether or not the respondents can opt not to call witnesses.