You are here: HomeNews2013 05 15Article 274074

General News of Wednesday, 15 May 2013

Source: radioxyzonline

Election Petition: “Sit down!” – Atuguba orders Addison in open Court

The President of the nine-member Bench hearing the election petition, Justice William Atuguba on Wednesday, May 15, 2013 asked the Lead Counsel for the Petitioners, Mr. Philip Addison to “sit down” while he was on his feet engaging the Bench in an argument about the relevance of a question posed to the key witness during cross-examination.

“Will you resume your seat and listen to me?” Justice Atuguba ordered Mr. Addison in a slight hyper tone.

The brief but terse and tensed moments of heated verbal exchanges between Mr. Addison and Justice Atuguba was sparked by the latter’s objection to a question by Mr. Tsatsu Tsikata, the Lead Counsel for the third Respondent, who wanted Dr. Bawumia to confirm whether or not his Party’s General Secretary, Kwadwo Owusu Afriyie, did not make public declarations of victory in the media, ahead of the declaration of the election 2012 results by the Electoral Commission.

Mr. Addison objected to the question saying: “My Lords we are being subjected to a number of irrelevant questions and when the irrelevant questions are asked, and the Witness is giving the answers, he’s being stopped from giving the answer, whereas the questioner is not stopped in these irrelevant questions that are being asked.”

He asserted that: “I think it is unfair…if he asks those questions, the witness should be allowed to give a full answer to those irrelevant questions”.

However, Justice Atuguba warned the Counsel to be mindful of what questions to tag as relevant or irrelevant.

He thundered that: “We are following the case and relevancy depends on us”, adding that: “The questions about the declaration of victory and all that, if you feel they are irrelevant, as far as I am concerned, they are vitally relevant to this case and the answer he has to give should be pertinent”.

He warned that: “We have authority [but] we don’t want to exercise it too much but we cannot be over-run too”.

Mr. Addison, however, remained obdurate with his position by retorting that: “My Lords, I take objection to the question relating to Church and wearing white, I think it is irrelevant; it is the position we take. If the Court rules that it is relevant, fine, but we take the view that it is irrelevant so far as these issues are concerned”.

The Bench, however, eventually had its way.

Answering the specific question asked by Mr. Tsikata, Dr. Bawumia said he was not aware of the victory declaration made by Mr. Kwadwo Owusu Afriyie, adding that: “If party officials made statements, [those were] their view, we only examined the records”.

Justice William Atuguba, however, chastised Dr. Bawumia’s apparent evasiveness in answering the question and admonished him to: “Bring [his] mind to the court room”.

He said: “Let us get at the facts of the matter and ascertain the truth and declare it”.

Once again, the Petitioners’ Lead Counsel rose to defend Dr. Bawumia’s manner of answering questions, saying the witness’s answers were tailored to fit the questions in like manner asked by Mr. Tsikata.

Mr. Addison said the several exceptions taken to Dr. Bawumia’s mode of answering questions posed to him make it: “…Very difficult for the witness to answer questions”.

“…The restrictions on answers by the witness is limiting him in expressing himself”, argued, adding that: “That is curbing his right to answer the questions”.

Justice Atuguba, however, stood his grounds and defended the Bench’s stern posture by stating that: “It has come to a stage when we think we have to control these things”.

He said: “…I think that what we are doing is within our authority, and we’ll do it”.

He then ordered Mr. Addison to “sit down”.

Send your news stories to and features to . Chat with us via WhatsApp on +233 55 2699 625.

Join our Newsletter