General Secretary of National Democratic Congress (NDC) and first witness of the petitioner (John Dramani Mahama) in the ongoing election 2020 petition, Johnson Asiedu Nketiah, says the petitioner and his party are not in court to challenge the validity of the 2020 presidential elections.
Appearing before the Supreme Court on Friday 29 January 2021, he said they are challenging the conduct of the “Returning Officer” for the presidential election and chairperson of the Electoral Commission, Jean Mensa.
Answering questions from the lead counsel for the EC, Justin Amenuvor, Nketiah indicated that the real focus of the case of the petitioner is to seek redress over the conduct of the EC chairperson and not necessarily about the validity or otherwise of the 2020 general elections which was held on 7 December 2020.
During cross examination, lawyer for 1st Respondent (EC) asked the witness that, “It is not true that the 1st Respondent padded any votes as you alleged, I am putting it to you?”
Nketiah in his answer said: “My lord, I decline to answer to that assertion.”
Amenuvor: “We are using the numbers that you have brought to the court and I am saying that the total of 4,693 is what you have put down there, is that correct?”
In his answer, the NDC chief scribe said: “I brought it as a sample. In my statement, I did indicate that this is from a sample of this particular constituency. I don’t understand sample to mean a total of the population.”
Amenuvor: “Now deduct the 4,693 from 510, 790, what do you get?
Nketiah: “With all due respect, I don’t see the point of the question”.
Amenuvor then comes in to say “with the greatest respect, you are being rude to the court not me.”
“Come again (with your question),” Nketiah then asked of the lawyer for the EC.
Amenuvor: “I am saying that deduct the 4,693 from 510, 790, what do you get?”
Nketiah: “I get 506, 097.”
Amenuvor: “I am suggesting that even if this your number as alleged which is denied, even if it is deducted from the total valid votes of the second respondent, he still has won by your own sheet by 51.246%, I am putting it to you?”
Nketiah: “My lord, I deny that because, you are subtracting apples from mangoes. This is a sample, if you take a sample from the population from another group, I don’t see where this calculation is coming from.”
Amenuvor: “I am suggesting to you that you have no evidence to support your allegations and that is why you have brought only what you have, I am putting it to you?”
Nketiah: “My Lord, we are not in court to declare another presidential results by us. We are in Court to challenge the performance of a constitutional duty of the first respondent, and to see whether that duty has been discharged faithfully.”
Amenuvor: “If that is so, then I am suggesting to you that by your own showing, you are not in the right forum.”
Nketiah: “I decline that My Lord”.
Lead counsel for the EC after getting the witness to indicate the exact reason why the retitioner is in court yielded back to the bench.
Lawyer for the second respondent, Akoto Ampaw, with leave from the court took his turn to cross-examine Nketiah. After about five initial questions, he requested that a video clip be played in court. His oral application was upheld by the court. However, the Presiding Judge ruled that the video would be played at the next court hearing slated for Monday, 1 February 2021. Nketia is expected back in the box when sitting resumes for cross-examination by lawyer for the 2nd Respondent to continue.
Earlier on in court
Earlier on in Court before cross-examination of the witness began, his witnesses statement sparked controversy at the Supreme Court, eventually leading the court to expunge four paragraphs completely, and three others in part.