The cross-examination of the NDC’s General Secretary, Johnson Asiedu Nketia continues at the Supreme Court on Monday as it resumes John Mahama’s election petition hearing.
This is after the seven-member panel of judges struck out portions of the witness statement submitted to it by Mr Nketia.
The veteran politician who is testifying on behalf of the 2020 flagbearer of his party had alleged that the EC Chairperson, Jean Mensa was biased in the execution of her role relating to the December 7 election due to her familial relationship with the wife of the 2nd Respondent.
But objecting to this and some other allegation raised by the petitioner’s witness on Friday, the Second Respondents lawyer, Akoto Ampaw noted that the accusations are very serious and cannot be supported in Mr Mahama’s pleadings.
The court in its ruling subsequently struck out seven paragraphs out of the 10 paragraphs that President Akufo-Addo’s lawyer objected to and allowed the cross-examination of the witness to commence.
During his back and forth with the EC’s lawyer, Justin Amenuvor, Mr. Asiedu Nketia clarified that although he is not the petitioner in the case and therefore may not be able to answer some questions, Mr. Mahama’s motive in court is to challenge some actions and inactions of the Electoral Commission and not necessarily seek the announcement of a different election results.
This statement was however challenged by the lawyers for President Akufo-Addo who claim to be in possession of some videos showing leaders of the NDC declaring various outcomes of the 2020 polls and declaring Mr. Mahama as President elect.
The case was then adjourned to February 1, 2021 to allow all video evidence to be played in court as hearing resumes.
Meanwhile, a member of President Akufo-Addo’s legal team, Frank Davies has expressed worry over the refusal of the petitioner; John Dramani Mahama to file his witness statement.
Speaking to the press after Friday’s hearing, Frank Davies said it is imperative for the petitioner to present the evidence he claims as a basis for filing the 2020 election petition.
“It is very instructive to let all Ghanaians know that the one person who filed the petition, John Dramani Mahama has refused, failed or neglected to sign onto a witness statement.
“The witness himself has no witness statement before the court,” he said.
The legal counsel for the Second Respondent again argued that the petitioner’s ambition to pray for a run-off from the Supreme Court should necessitate his submission of a witness statement.
“This same person is refusing to come out and give evidence in court,” he added.
But in contrast to Frank Davies’ claims, a member of Mr. Mahama’s legal team, Dominic Ayine said the submissions made by Akufo-Addo’s legal counsel are misplaced and hold no basis.
According to Dominic Ayine, the petitioner, John Mahama has acted in accordance with guidelines stipulated in the 1992 constitution, hence has breached no law.
“It is far from being the case that John Dramani Mahama himself must testify in this matter. He has filed a petition, he is entitled as of right under the law to call witnesses in aid of his case and that is what he has done,” he said.
He stated that President Akufo-Addo, during the 2012 election petition, failed to testify as a witness but rather called witnesses to testify on his behalf.
“I am surprised that a senior Lawyer of Frank Davies’ stature is confusing petitioner with witnesses that the petitioner calls,” he added.
Citing the 2012 election petition filed by President Akufo-Addo, Dominic Ayine questioned the morals of Frank Davies.
“So is it the case that when it comes to His Excellency John Dramani Mahama, the law must change and compel him to testify,” he quizzed.
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