A former Defence Minister, Dr Benjamin Kunbour, says the Supreme Court’s 2020 Election Petition verdict was not fair to the petitioner.

According to the University of Ghana lecturer, who previously served as Attorney General, John Mahama was denied a fair hearing when the apex court refused to compel the Electoral Commission’s Chairperson, Jean Mensa to mount the witness stand.

Dr Kunbuor made this assertion at a forum to review the political, legal and electoral ramifications of the petition organised by the Centre for Social Justice last Thursday.

“Now, you have had accrued constitutional rights to a fair trial, in your constitution. So every litigant that goes to court, is actually going with the idea that he will have an opportunity to present his case. And that opportunity is not only his side of the case but the legal armory that he can use includes cross examination to present his case.

“If the ability to use that legal tool of cross examination is truncated, because of speed and you could not have had it through interlocutory applications, and you cannot even have it through a substantive situation of cross examination where a witness takes a box, you cannot say the trial has been fair in this particular case,” he said.

On his part, a former National Chairman of the New Patriotic Party (NPP) Peter Mac-Manu who also represented the President in court disagreed.

He argued that the judgment of the court removes every doubt on the legitimacy of President Akufo-Addo’s election as president for a second term.

“Many countries are yet to recover from the scars of electoral related violence and conflicts. In a democracy such as the one we enjoy in Ghana, the constitution empowers the Supreme Court, to independently, resolve all election disputes.

“The issues are dealt with in a transparent manner, such that all parties are given a very fair hearing. This puts to rest, all doubts in the minds of the people,” he stated.