The seven-member panel of the Supreme Court has ruled that the Chairperson of the Electoral Commission, Jean Mensa is free not to testify in the ongoing election petition.
The court this morning ruled on the application by the petitioner to force the EC boss to testify.
Chief Justice Kwasi Anin-Yeboah who read the ruling said the judges were not convinced by the contrary arguments made by Tsatsu Tsikata, lead counsel for the petitioner.
He also said they were given a limited jurisdiction in the Election Petition case and that they do not intend to go beyond that jurisdiction.
“We are minded to state that our jurisdiction invoked in this election petition is a limited jurisdiction clearly circumscribed by law. We do not intend to extend our mandate beyond what the law requires of us in such petitions brought under Article 64 (1) challenging the validity of the election of a president. Simply put, we are not convinced, and we will not yield to the invitation being extended to us by counsel for the petitioner to order the respondent to enter the witness box to be cross-examined. Accordingly, we hereby overrule the objection raised by the counsel for the petitioner against the decision of the respondents declining to adduce evidence in this petition,” he added.
The court is currently on recess but the petitioner has served notice to reopen his case and subpoena the EC boss.
The two respondents on Tuesday made the application to the apex court arguing among other reasons that the petitioner had not sufficiently discharged on his obligation to prove the issues raised for determination.
The ruling will follow three hours of legal arguments on Tuesday between lawyers for the respondents, Justin Amenuvor and Akoto Ampaw, and the petitioner’s lawyer Tsatsu Tsikata.
The respondent’s lawyers had invited the court to deliver judgment based on the strength of the evidence presented by the petitioner.
Their two witnesses, the EC Chairperson, Jean Mensa and the New Patriotic Party Campaign Manager, Peter Mac Manu had filed witness statements at the onset of the petition.
Mr. Mahama’s legal team has argued that the EC Chairperson, in particular, ought to take the stand because her testimony is pivotal to the issues set out to be determined in the petition.
But the EC’s lawyers maintain that the witness need not be considered as evidence and thus does not necessitate a cross-examination.
President of the court, Chief Justice Anin-Yeboah had adjourned the ruling on the application to today.
The court is expected to sit at 9.30 this morning to deliver the much-anticipated ruling in the petition.
Mr. Mahama’s argument is that neither he nor President Akufo-Addo attained a clear majority during the 2020 polls because of the omission of the Techiman South constituency from the declaration.
He is asking the Supreme Court to order a re-run of the presidential election for him and the incumbent.