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General News of Thursday, 9 May 2013

Source: XYZ

Election Petition: We've been fair and just so far - Atuguba

The nine-member panel of Justices hearing the 2012 election petition has said it has so far been fair and just with its rulings concerning the case.

At the hearing on Wednesday May 8, 2013, Lead Counsel for the Petitioners, Philip Addison, wondered why the Lead Counsel for the third Respondent Tsatsu Tsikata kept imputing dishonesty against the key witness Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia during cross-examination, and, therefore, sought a pronouncement from the bench to restrain Mr. Tsikata.

Mr. Addison also threatened in open court that his side could answer in kind if Mr. Tsikata was not reined in.

“We are very much capable of throwing those same words at him,” he warned.

Painting a scenario of Mr. Tsikata being a kettle calling the pot black, Mr. Addison protested that: “It is quite surprising coming from him talking about honesty, really, these kind of words that he’s been using, playing to the gallery, we have said that we do not want to reply in kind; he should choose his words carefully; there was no need at all to address the witness as dishonest; coming from him, it’s quite rich”.

He said: “My Lords I don’t know why counsel can’t ask questions without using words like honesty and so on”.

The president of the bench defended the panel’s decisions so far, as far as the use of foul language on both sides was concerned.

Justice William Atuguba said: “let me refresh your memories, the penultimate issue arriving on this matter was when he [Tsikata] told you [Addison] to shut up; you objected, and I said ok, I’m wiping the slate clean [and I warned that] from that stage all concerns should be addressed to the bench. Thereafter, you [Addison] put an objection to a question he [Tsikata] put in cross-examination, and you said ‘well if my learned friend is running out of questions he should better sit down.

We didn’t comment, and he also used some other expression to reply to the effect that [the witness shouldn’t ridicule himself] and…I told him that he couldn’t say that because the witness was free to ridicule himself…so this is where we reached and, so the mudslinging was evened [up]”.

“Now, there should be no generation of it whether manually or electronically,” Justice Atuguba warned jovially.

Mr. Tsikata continues his cross-examination of Dr. Bawumia for the seventh day today, Thursday May 9, 2013.

Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo together with Dr Mahamudu Bawumia and the party’s National Chairman Jake Obetsebi-Lamptey are in court challenging the validity of the election results as declared by the country’s electoral commission after the December 7 and 8 general elections.

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