The spokesperson for former President John Mahama’s legal team in the ongoing election petition, Marietta Brew Appiah-Oppong says the petitioner has been denied the right to a fair hearing.
This comes after the Apex Court on Thursday, dismissed the 2020 NDC presidential candidate’s application for the Court to review its ruling on interrogatories.
Mr Mahama was disallowed from asking the Electoral Commission Chairperson, Jean Mensa some 12 questions relating to her conduct of the December 7, 2020 election.
According to the Supreme Court Justices, the questions can be posed during cross-examination, as such serving interrogatories at the preliminary stage of the hearing is irrelevant.
But interacting with the media after Thursday’s proceedings, the former Attorney General stressed that the interrogatories are equally important to ensure a fair administration of justice.
She said Mr Mahama’s lead counsel Tsatsu Tsikata has explained to the Justices that once he is allowed to ask Mrs Mensa his questions, it will not be repeated in the trial thereby saving the court’s time.
Citing the 2013 election petition, the Mrs Brew Appiah-Oppong said, the petitioner, in that case, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, was given the nod by the Apex Court to serve interrogatories on the respondents.
In that regard, she questioned why a similar case involving Mr Mahama is being handled differently.
“How can anyone say that those questions are not relevant? There was a fundamental error in relation to the refusal to apply order 22 of CI 47. Nana Akufo-Addo was allowed to serve interrogatories on the respondents. Nothing has changed, except the passage of C.I 99.
“Again, there is nothing in C.I 99 that says that a petitioner cannot serve interrogatories, so we disagree we the Court and feel that the petitioner has been denied a right to a fair hearing,” she stated.
The legal practitioner added, “And we refer to cases which said that ‘if a petitioner on grounds of expedition is denied the right to serve interrogatories that is a denial of right to a fair hearing.’
“And so we are saying that the refusal of our application is not fair to the petitioner, in the light of the past and in the light of what is happening now.”
Commenting on the dismissal of Mr Mahama’s second application for leave to file a supplementary statement of case, Mrs Brew Appiah-Oppong described it as unfortunate.
She noted that the adjudicators are not giving detailed reasons to the rationale behind their ruling and it is a cause for worry since it could impede the aim of having an impartial trial.
“… Our application was refused. Now it is unfortunate that these rulings that are coming out of the court are so short. In the past, especially in 2013, we had detailed reasons behind rulings on why applications were either granted or refused; that has not happened this time.
Now, when you examine or listen to the ruling of the Court, the only reason they gave is that, the rules do not allow for it, so if the rules do not allow for it, why has it been permitted in the past?”
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