A leading member of the New Patriotic Party (NPP), Gabby Asare Otchere-Darko says the Chairperson of the Electoral Commission (EC) can’t be forced into the witness box when the petitioner, John Mahama has not satisfied the burden of proof.
Speaking on Joy FM’s Newsfile Saturday, Gabby Asare Otchere-Darko “we are talking about a margin of over 500, 000 votes, you are saying that the declaration was wrong in the sense that they did not meet the threshold of over 50%.
“You can speak all the English you want, you can quote all the laws you want, you can focus on all the presidents you want the bottom line is this, ‘do you have enough numbers to challenge the declaration made on December 9. It is that simple,” he stated.
Sammy Gyamfi replies
However, the NDC Communications Officer, Sammy Gyamfi disagrees.
According to him, “the election petition is not a challenge of 5,000 votes…it’s a challenge of the constitutionality and validity of the declaration of the returning officer for the 2020 election, Jean Adukwei Mensa…”
Justifying why Madam Jean Mensa needs to step in the witness box he said: “Ghanaians who joined long queues at the risk of losing their lives amidst Covid-19 to register and vote, deserve to know whether the EC Chairperson we have in this country is credible. They must know whether she has been candid about her job relative to the declaration of the 2020 presidential election”
Moreover, “Why is she running away from accountability, if Afri-Gyan mounted the witness box in the 2013 election petition case and defended his work. Why is Jean Mensa running away if she has nothing to hide?”
Sammy Gyamfi who was speaking on the same platform further insisted that “given the fact that she herself (Jean Mensa) has admitted to making errors, we think that it is only fair the over 30 million Ghanaians and Jean Mensa herself to be given an opportunity to explain the issues”
Lawyer for the Electoral Commission (EC), Justin Amenuvor on Monday, February 8 told the SC that it will not put its witness, Jean Mensa in the witness box.
This was after the petitioner told the court it has closed its case.
“Given the evidence of the petitioner’s witnesses under cross-examination so far, of those witnesses, speaking for the 1st respondent, it is the 1st respondent’s case that we do not wish to lead any further evidence and therefore we are praying that this matter proceeds under Order 36 Rule 43 and CI 87 rule 3 (e) 5, we hereby and on that basis close our case” lawyer Amenuvor stated.
Lead counsel for the second respondent, Akoto Ampaw also indicated that he will not put his witness Peter Mac Manu in the witness box and that the burden of proof lies on the petitioner.
But lead counsel for the petitioner, Tsatsu Tsikata, objected to the move by the lawyer for the 1st Respondent.
According to him, the EC boss has a constitutional duty to give accounts of what she has done in the conduct of her responsibility.
However, in a Supreme Court ruling on February 11, 2021, the Petitioner’s request to cross-examine the First Respondent, Madam Jean Mensah was quashed.
Meanwhile, the petitioner, John Mahama has filed a motion to reopen his case to enable him file a Subpoena to have Madam Jean Mensa mount the witness box.