Ptition’s witness to mount witness box on January 29 – Supreme Court declares

Accra The Supreme Court has asked the Petitioner (Mr John Dramani Mahama) in the Election 2020 Petition case, to produce one of his witnesses to testify on January 29.

The Petitioner indicated that he would be calling Mr Johnson Asiedu Nketiah, General Secretary of the National Democratic Congress (NDC), and Dr Michael Kpassa White, a member of the Party, who was in the Electoral Commission’ strong room.

The Court has adjourned the matter to Friday January 29, for hearing.

Meanwhile, the nine-member panel presided over by Chief Justice Kwasi Anin Yeboah, has dismissed a review application for interrogatories, saying it did not meet the threshold of a review application.

The Supreme Court also threw out a motion for leave to file additional of grounds for “review” in the review application of interrogatories.

The Court also dismissed the motion for leave to file supplements by amending paragraph 28 in the original statement of case.

The Court held that the application before them was not sanctioned by any provisions in the CI 60 from rule 54 to 60 of the Supreme Court rule 16 of 1996.

The Court said that in law and by certain practice of “this court”, it should be noted that reviews and appeals were conceptually different and the rules governing the application of either of them were very distinct and that the Court had in several cases exhibited remarkable consistency.

In matters involving the liberty of an individual, “The Court have always adopted a more liberal approach in the modern day administration of justice, indeed the application was not for leave to file an amendment on the grounds of a review as in this application.”

To assay to this application, the court held that “it would be tantamount to the scope of the jurisdiction of the review, which jurisdiction is not provided by the rules of the court.”

The Supreme Court further decided that “We find out that all inherent jurisdiction cannot be invoked under the circumstances of the case with the rules of court has made clear provisions in the exercise of their jurisdiction in this matter.

We according proceed to dismiss the application.”

Earlier, the court struck out as withdrawn a stay of proceedings filed by lawyers of the Petitioner in the 2020 election Petition case.

The Court also struck out abridgment of time filed by the Electoral Commission to hear the dismissed application for interrogatories.

This was after Mr Tsatsu Tsikata, lead counsel for the Petitioner, and Mr Justine Amenuvor, counsel for the EC, prayed the court to withdraw their respective applications.

Mr Tsikata moved a motion seeking the leave of the court to file supplements to the statement of case of the 2020 election Petition and replace or amend Paragraph 28 of the statement of case.

Lawyer for the Electoral Commission, Justine Amenuvor opposed the application for review of interrogatories, saying submissions of the Petitioner’s lawyer had not canvassed any new matter which could invoke the inherent jurisdiction of the court.

According to Mr Amenuvor, Mr Tsatsu Tsikata was only rehashing what took place at the courtroom on January 19, 2021.

He said the Petitioner’s lawyers’ argument was based on emotions and should be dismissed.

Mr Akoto Ampaw, counsel for Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo Addo, the second respondent in the case, also opposed the Petitioner’s argument, saying the Supreme Court should dismissed Petitioner’s review application of interrogatories on three key points.

The key points, Mr Ampaw said included relevance.

Mr Ampaw stated that the Supreme Court never stated that CI 47 of Order 22 of the rule of the Court had been repealed.

He said it was more than obvious that the issues sought in the interrogatories were not related to issues of controversies in the case before the Court.

Mr Ampaw said the fact that interrogatories were accepted in the 2013 Election Petition did not mean same should also be accepted in the Election 2020 Petition.

He said Mr Tsikata had failed to demonstrate to the court the need to grant the review and same must be dismissed because it was completely unmeritorious.

Mr Tsikata contended that the ruling of the Supreme Court on January 19, 2021 indicated that CI47 of Order 22 had been repealed.

He held that if review application of interrogatories were not accepted because of its relevance, how could same be admitted during cross examination?

Mr Tsikata said the interrogatories were relevant because it could assist the Court to determine the authenticity of election results declared on December 9, last year by the EC.

On the issue of timelines, Mr Tsikata said Order 22 of the CI47 could be applied in the instant Petition and same would not in any way affect the 42 day timeline the court wanted to meet under CI 99.

The Petitioner (Mr John Dramani Mahama) filed a motion praying the Court to review its unanimous decision on the application for interrogatories.

The Petitioner contended that the Supreme Court erred when it ruled that C1 47 was not applicable and the Court should exercise its discretion in accordance with Article 296 of the Constitution.

According to the Petitioner, the Court also erred when it ruled that amendments were not allowed when it came to expeditious trial of Election Petition.

The petitioner further prayed the court to grant him leave to file additional ground of his review application.

Source: Ghana News Agency

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