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General News of Monday, 15 February 2021

Source: 3 News

Mahama’s move to reopen case is an abuse of court processes – Amenuvor to Supreme Court

Counsel for the 1st Respondent in the ongoing election petition hearing Justin Amenuvor has told the Supreme Court on Monday, February 15, that the petitioner’s application to reopen his case is an abuse of the court processes.

Mr. Amenuvor told the court that extensive research he conducted so far on reopening of cases, points that since the common-law emerged in Ghana as far back as 1876 no such attempt has ever been made.

This is “an abuse of the court processes,” he said.

Mr. Tsikata had told the Supreme Court that he closed the petitioner’s case because he thought the Chairperson of the 1st Respondent, Mrs. Jean Adukwei Mensa will make herself available for cross-examination.
He said that the affidavit of the 1st Respondent indicated that she will testify in the case hence, their earlier decision to close their case for that to happen.

“We had the expectation that the chairperson of the 1st Respondent will testify” hence the closure of the case.

“The Chairperson of the 1st Respondent has in an affidavit made clear that the petitioner will in no way be prejudiced because the questions that the petitioner sought to have in interrogatories those will be subject matter in cross-examination,” Mr. Tsikata told the court.

Meanwhile, Mrs. Adukwei Mensa, has sworn an affidavit, praying the Supreme Court to dismiss a fresh application filed by petitioner in the election petition case John Dramani Mahama to reopen the case.

According to Mrs. Mensa, the application is not warranted by any rule of law or procedure “and the same should be dismissed by this Honourable Court”.

She indicated that Mr. Mahama’s application is “creating the erroneous impression that this application is made at my behest”.

The Chair of the Commission explained that at no time had she informed the petitioner nor his lawyers of her desire to testify in the case.

Lawyers of Mr. Mahama on Thursday, February 11 declared their intention to re-open the case in order to subpoena Mrs Mensa as the Returning Officer of last year’s presidential elections to testify.

It followed the unanimous dismissal of an earlier application to force witnesses of both respondents – EC and Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo – to appear in the witness box.

The respondents had closed their case by voting not to present their witnesses in court.

But the petitioner filed the application to get the Chair of the EC, in particular, to make an appearance in the interest of the public.

In her affidavit, calling for the dismissal of the petitioner’s application, Mrs. Mensa stated: “I believe that there are more convenient fora (forums) for ventilating the so-called public interest issues and further that this should not form the basis of the Petitioner re-opening his case in a Presidential Elections Petition in Court.”

She expressed surprise how the petitioner, after closing his case on his own volition, will come back again to request that the case be re-open.

“I am advised that even if this Court grants leave for the Petitioner to reopen its case; it ought not cause a subpoena to be issued against me because a subpoena is issued with coercive effect.

“The Honourable Court, having held that I rightly exercised the option of my right not to testify would be overriding its earlier decision to order that I be compelled to testify.”

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