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The Supreme Court has ordered lawyers for the parties in the Election Petition case to file their closing statements by close of day Wednesday 17, 2021.
This directive was announced by the Chief Justice, Kwasi Anin-Yeboah in court on Thursday, February 11, 2021.
Anin-Yeboah in making the orders asked the counsel to file the addresses simultaneously.
“By court, per the ruling just read, the respective cases of the 1st and 2nd respondents are deemed closed.”
“This court hereby orders that the parties herein shall simultaneously file their respective closing addresses on or before Wednesday, February 17, 2021. The petition is hereby adjourned to Thursday, February 18, 2021, for counsel in this petition to highlight on the written addresses or submissions so far for the petition to be adjourned for judgement,” he said.
What happened today?
The Supreme Court on Thursday in a unanimous decision ruled that the Chairperson of the Electoral Commission, Jean Mensa and Peter Mac Manu cannot be forced to testify in the Election Petition case.
Chief Justice Kwasi Anin-Yeboah who read the ruling said the judges were not convinced by the contrary arguments made by Tsatsu Tsikata, lead counsel for the petitioner.
He also said they were given a limited jurisdiction in the Election Petition case and that they do not intend to go beyond that jurisdiction.
“We are minded to state that our jurisdiction invoked in this election petition is a limited jurisdiction clearly circumscribed by law. We do not intend to extend our mandate beyond what the law requires of us in such petitions brought under Article 64 (1) challenging the validity of the election of a president.”
“Simply put, we are not convinced, and we will not yield to the invitation being extended to us by counsel for the petitioner to order the respondents to enter the witness box to be cross-examined. Accordingly, we hereby overrule the objection raised by the counsel for the petitioner against the decision of the respondents declining to adduce evidence in this petition,” he added.
Meanwhile, the lead lawyer for the petitioner [John Dramani Mahama], Mr. Tsatsu Tsikata is seeking to re-open the case and have the Chairperson of the Electoral Commission, Jean Mensa dragged into the witness box and cross-examined through a subpoena application.
Mr. Tsikata is seeking to trigger such a process after his objection to a decision by the Electoral Commission and President Akufo-Addo, first and second respondents not to call any witness was dismissed.