Lawyer Samoa Addo says the petition suffered a fatal blow after the petitioner’s lawyers closed their case hoping to cross examine Jean Mensa later
A legal practitioner Nii Kpakpo Samoa Addo has counseled lawyers for John Mahama to withdraw their case in the ongoing Election 2020 petition hearing at the Supreme Court.
His advice is premised on the court’s ruling against an application by lawyers of the petitioner to reopen their case and subpoena EC chairperson Jean Mensa for cross-examination.
Speaking in an interview with Kojo Mensah on The Asaase Breakfast Show on Wednesday, Addo pointed out that the case suffered a fatal blow after the petitioner’s lawyers closed their case on the assumption that they will cross examine the EC chairperson.
“Perhaps the petitioner should not have relied on one of the affidavits that was sworn that he would have the opportunity to cross examine EC chair. He should have insisted and asked for the subpoena to be issued before he closed his case, that seems to have been a fatal blow to his case because evidence can be obtained from cross-examination,” he said.
Addo added: “In my honest and candid opinion, once the opportunity to reopen his case and to issue the subpoena has been denied him, his case in my honest opinion has suffered a fatal blow, and so there will be no point in continuing. He has to withdraw the case.”
“Because at the heart of his case will be an opportunity to cross examine the EC chairperson and to obtain the allegations of irregularities and things that would have made the declaration…” he added.
Former Minister of Justice and Attorney General Nii Ayikoi Otoo, speaking on the same show, said the petitioner did not have a case from the onset.
“We are not before a commission of enquiry, we are in the court of law and the court of law works with rules, either you are following the rules or you will lose on every application you bring before the court. Unfortunately for them, all the rulings have been unanimous, all the judges speak the same language,” Otoo, who is also Ghana’s High Commissioner to Canada, said.
He added: “The point of the matter is that you chose to go to court, when you went to court you asked a specific relief which was that nobody crossed more than 50% mark, that is a burden you put on yourself. Now they ask you to prove it and you say no, let the defender rather prove it.”
Court dismisses application to reopen case
The Supreme Court on Tuesday dismissed a motion filed by the former president John Mahama to reopen his case in order to call the chair of the Electoral Commission, Jean Mensa, as a “hostile witness” in support of his case.
Giving its unanimous ruling, Chief Justice Kwasi Anin-Yeboah said Mahama (the petitioner) has not convinced the court with the sort of evidence he needs from Mensa or explained how that evidence will help in the final determination of the case.
Therefore, the apex court maintained that the development makes it difficult for it to exercise its discretion in favour of the petitioner and hence “the application is dismissed”.
It also determined that a witness who has not yet mounted the witness box cannot be described as a “hostile witness”.