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Mahama wants Jean Mensa to testify as his 'hostile witness'

BY: Emmanuel Ebo Hawkson

Former President John Dramani Mahama, the petitioner in the 2020 presidential election petition, on Monday sought to convince the Supreme Court to allow him re-open his case.

His lead counsel, Mr Tsatsu Tsikata, told the apex court that it was essential that the petitioner was allowed to re-open his case in order to subpoena the Chairperson of the Electoral Commission (EC), Mrs Jean Mensa, to testify in the petition.

When asked by Justice Gertrude Torkornoo in what capacity Mrs Mensa would testify, Mr Tsikata said as a witness for the petitioner, but she will be treated as a "hostile witness".

He argued that Mrs Mensa in her affidavits before the court made representations that she will make herself available for cross-examination.

The rules of evidence, he said, made it compulsory for Mrs Mensa to testify, based on her averments that she will testify.

Opposition

Lawyers for the respondents, however, opposed the application for the petitioner to re-open his case.

Lead counsel for the EC, Mr Justin Amenuvor, argued that the petitioner wants to open his case to patch the weaknesses in his case through the EC Chairperson.

He also submitted that the EC chairperson never stated that she will make herself available for cross-examination, a position he said had been upheld in the court’s ruling that it cannot compel the EC Chairperson to testify.

In his submission, Mr Akoto Ampaw, counsel for President Akufo-Addo, the second respondent, argued that the application for leave to re-open his case was a ploy by the petitioner to oppose the EC’s position not to call any witness to testify.

The court, he argued, had already affirmed Mrs Mensa’s right not to testify.

The court adjourned the case to Tuesday (February 16, 2021) to deliver its ruling on the application by the petitioner seeking leave to re-open his case.

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