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Supreme Court dismisses Mahama’s review application on cross-examining Jean Mensa

The Supreme Court has in a unanimous decision tossed out an application filed by 2020 presidential candidate of the National Democratic Congress seeking a review of an earlier ruling upholding the decision of the chairperson of the Electoral Commission. Jean Mensa not to mount the witness box and testify in the ongoing election petition hearing.
Mr John Dramani Mahama, who is the petitioner through his counsel Tsatsu Tsikata disagreed with the apex court ruling and wrote a 32-page letter seeking a review.
His application follows an earlier ruling by the 7-member panel that it cannot compel a party in a case to adduce evidence if the party does not want to do so.
During court sitting on Thursday, February 18 2021, the Chief Justice Kwasi Anin-Yeboah who read the ruling on behalf of the justices said the bench was not convinced by the arguments advanced by the petitioner’s legal counsel to warrant a contrary decision.

He said“The applicant has failed to satisfy the court that a new or important matter resulted from the reference to the constitutional provisions referred to [in the earlier ruling]. As the result, the application fails, and it is hereby dismissed.”

This is the second time in two days Mahama’s application has been rejected in the ongoing election petition.

On Tuesday, February 16, 2021, the apex court in a unanimous decision also dismissed Mr Mahama’s application to re-open his case to enable him to subpoena Jean Mensa to testify as a hostile witness.

Backing this stance, Chief Justice Kwasi Anin-Yeboah who read the ruling said the petitioner has not indicated how the evidence he intends to solicit from the EC Chairperson will help to determine the case.

Again the Chief Justice emphasized that the success of the petitioner’s case is dependent on his evidence and therefore the decision to close his case was not based on the fact that Madam Jean Mensa had filed a witness statement and was to testify.

He also stated that the arguments raised by the counsel for the petitioner are almost the same as those raised in the objection to the 1st Respondent’s decision not to call a witness; thus Section 26 of the Evidence Act is not applicable in this case.

By: Bernard Ralph Adams

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