Election petition: Mahama to reopen case, subpoena Jean Mensa for cross-examination

Jean Mensa, chairperson of the EC

The counsel for the 2020 NDC flagbearer, John Mahama, says he will formally subpoena the Electoral Commission (EC) Chair, Jean Mensa in order to cross examine her.

The announcement by Tsatsu Tsikata comes on the back of a ruling by the Supreme Court that the EC Chair cannot be compelled to testify in the ongoing election petition hearing.

The apex court in a unanimous decision on Thursday, February 11, upheld a joint application by the 1st and 2nd Respondents not to call their witnesses.

Chief Justice Kwasi Anin-Yeboah who read the ruling said the apex court does not wish to extend its mandate beyond those allowed by law.

This according to him is because the court has no say in whether a party should testify or not and cannot compel a witness to mount the witness box.

“We are minded to state that our jurisdiction invoked in this election petition is a limited jurisdiction clearly circumscribed by law. We do not intend to extend our mandate beyond what the law requires of us in such petitions brought under Article 64 (1) challenging the validity of the election of a president.

“Simply put, we are not convinced, and we will not yield to the invitation being extended to us by counsel for the petitioner to order the respondent to enter the witness box to be cross-examined.

“Accordingly, we hereby overrule the objection raised by the counsel for the petitioner against the decision of the respondents declining to adduce evidence in this petition,” he added.

But reacting to this, Lawyer Tsikata who is the lead counsel for Mr. Mahama said he will file a motion to formally reopen the case so he can subpoena the EC Chair.

The 7-member panel of judges made up of the Chief Justice, Anin-Yeboah; Justices Yaw Appau, Marful Sau, Professor Ashie Kotei, Mariama Owusu, Nene Amegatcher, and Gertrude Tokonor ordered the parties to simultaneously present their closing address before February 17, 2021.

The court adjourned sitting to Thursday, February 18, to hear the written addresses.

Mr. John Dramani Mahama is at the Supreme Court asking for a re-run of the December 7 Presidential elections.

According to the former President, the votes obtained by New Patriotic Party (NPP) candidate, President Nana Akufo-Addo, and himself in the December 7, election as declared by the EC Chair were not enough for a candidate to be declared winner.

The former President argues that if all the valid votes for all the candidates who contested the election are put together, it would total “13,121,111, a figure that is completely missing from the purported declaration by Mrs. Jean Adukwei Mensa on December 9, and the purported rectification on December 10.”

Source: Myjoyonline.com

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