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Supreme Court adjourns ruling on withdrawal of witnesses by respondents

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Lawyers for parties in the ongoing election petition hearing at the Supreme Court have presented oral arguments on whether or not the EC Chairperson Jean Mensah and the second respondent should be made to mount the witness box to give evidence in the case.

Monday, February 8, all parties closed their cases after cross-examination of the third witness for the petitioner Rojo Mettle-Nunoo ended. In what was an interesting twist, lawyers for the respondents who had already indicated they will call one witness each told the court they had rescinded that decision.

This meant the EC chairperson, Jean Mensah, was not going to be cross-examined despite submitting a witness statement. This was objected to by lead counsel for the petitioner Tsatsu Tsikata who alleged Electoral Commission Chairperson, Jean Mensah, was evading cross-examination.

In his submission, Lawyer for the EC, Justin Amenuvor who relied on portions of Order 36 and 38 to make his argument said having heard the evidence of the petitioner and the cross-examination, they do not need any evidence and therefore will not call any witness.

Counsel for the second respondent, Akoto Ampaw, insisted that in the light of the provision in CI 47 they are entitled not to call any witness.

But Counsel for the petitioner, Tsatsu Tsikata, insisted the EC Chair has a constitutional responsibility to give accounts of what she has done in the conduct of her duty. This was after the Chief Justice said as far as the EC Chair has not taken an oath or been sworn in, her witness statement is not evidence.

Mr Tsikata argued that all the questions on whether she cannot change her mind does not address the terms in Order 36. He added that justice will be best served by hearing the evidence that the first respondent wishes to submit in the case.

Meanwhile, the Supreme Court has adjourned the case to Thursday, February 11, where it will decide on whether or not to compel the EC Chairperson Jean Mensah to mount the witness box.

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