In the Election Petition lawsuit, the lead counsel for John Mahama, Tsatsu Tsikata, is trying to have Jean Mensa, Chairman of the Electoral Commission, brought into the witness box and cross-examined by subpoena.
After his opposition to a decision by the Electoral Commission and President Akufo-Addo, the first and second respondents not to call any witnesses were refused, Mr. Tsikata tried to initiate this process.
On Thursday, February 11, 2021, Chief Justice Kwasi Anin-Yeboah, who read the decision in court, said the judges were not persuaded by the opposing claims made by the petitioner’s lead lawyer, Tsatsu Tsikata.
He also claimed that in the Election Petition case, they were granted restricted authority and that they did not wish to go outside that jurisdiction.
We are minded to state that our authority invoked in this petition for election is a narrow jurisdiction specifically established by statute. We do not wish to expand our mandate above what the law demands of us in those petitions brought in compliance with Article 64(1) bringing into question the legitimacy of the presidential election. Simply put, we are not persuaded, and we will not agree with the invitation given to us by the petitioner’s lawyer to order the respondents to enter the witness box for cross-examination.
Mr. Tsikata had closed the case and tried to cross-examine Jean Mensa, but as the respondents failed to open their defense and also closed their cases, his hopes were shattered.
On Monday, 8 February 2021, the lead lawyer, Mr. Justin Amenovor, told the court that the 1st respondent [Electoral Commission] had no intention of calling any witness to testify and relied on Order 36 Sub-rules 4 and 38, Rule 3(e) sub-rules 1 and 5 of CI 47, as amended by CI 87, as the basis for their decision to close the case and not to invite a witness.
Similarly, Akoto Ampaw, lead lawyer for President Nana Akufo-Addo, also announced that the 2020 Campaign Manager of the New Patriotic Party, Peter Mac Manu, will not take the witness box for cross-examination.
Mr. Ampaw argued that the plaintiff did not make a strong argument before the court, thus the decision to close the case.
Tsatsu Tsikata disagreed, however.
Therefore, Mr. Tsikata suspected Mrs. Mensa of having evaded cross-examination. He told the court afterwards that they plan to re-open their lawsuit.
However, by February 17, 2021, the court ordered the applicant and the respondents to file their closing statements.