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Wenchi High Court rescinds bench warrant against Bono East EC Director

BY: Emmanuel Adu-Gyamerah & Biiya Mukusah Ali

The Bono East Regional Director of the Electoral Commission (EC), Gabriel Dei Yeboah was on Thursday cross-examined by counsel for the petitioner in the ongoing adjudication of the disputed 2020 Techiman South Constituency parliamentary election at the Wenchi High Court.

The court had issued a bench warrant during its sitting on Wednesday, April 13, 2022 for the arrest of Mr Yeboah when he failed to attend sitting after the court subpoenaed him.

However, as soon as he mounted the witness box on Thursday, April 14, 2022, counsel for the EC, Emmanuel Addai pleaded with the court to rescind the bench warrant.

He told the court, presided over by Justice Frederick Arnold Nawura that his client's inability to appear before the court on Wednesday, April 13, was not intentional but was due to miscommunication between him (counsel) and the client.

The court heeded to his plea and accordingly rescinded the warrant, agreeing that the explanation was understandable.

Justice Nawura however, explained that since Mr Yeboah had been subpoenaed, he was obliged to attend the court's scheduled sittings on the matter until he was discharged.

He therefore asked the petitioner's counsel, Justin Pwavra Teriwajah to proceed with the cross-examination of the witness and ruled that the witness be treated as an adverse witness.

He again ruled that issues relating to presidential results would not be allowed.

Documents

Mr Yeboah was to mount the witness box with Form 1C and Form 1D documents to adduce evidence, but he came to the court without them and told the court that those forms were not in his custody since he had forwarded them to the EC headquarters in Accra.

He further told the court that he had already submitted the particular documents the petitioner was demanding to the court.

Ruling
Ruling on the matter, the judge said even though the witness had failed to present the documents to the court, his excuse appeared to be palpable.

Besides, the court held that the documents had already been served the petitioner and the same evidence was before the court.

Justice Nawura said the failure of the witness to produce the documents was immaterial, and added that the documents which had already been presented could be properly relied upon for the examination of the witness.

The cross-examination lasted for more than two hours after which the judge adjourned the case to Monday, May, 9, 2022 to continue hearing.

As usual, the sitting of the court was held under heightened security with armed security men stationed at vantage points on the court premises.

Tens of supporters of the National Democratic Congress and the New Patriotic Party also besieged the court's premises to observe proceedings.

The Returning Officer of the Techiman South Constituency, Nana Dwamena Frempah is scheduled to appear before the court.

Background

The NDC 2020 parliamentary candidate for the Techiman South Constituency, Mr Christopher Beyere Baasongti filed the writ to challenge the declaration of Mr Martin Adjei-Mensah Korsah of the NPP as the winner of the constituency seat.