Cost of EC not testifying in Election Petition is high – Prof. Prempeh

Professor Kwesi Prempeh?resize=1000%2C600&ssl=1 Executive Director for the Center for Democracy Development (CDD), Professor H. Kwesi Prempeh

Wed, 28 Apr 2021 Source: 3news.com

Executive Director for the Center for Democracy Development (CDD), Professor H. Kwesi Prempeh is advocating an administrative process by the Electoral Commission (EC), to deal with errors caused by its staff during the elections, which are recorded every time.

According to him, the Supreme Court merely ruling that the errors committed did not affect the final outcome or do not merit an annulment of the election, is not enough.

He is questioning what happens to all the irregularities and violations recorded at every election during the litigation process.

Prof. H. Kwesi Prempeh says the Supreme Court loses nothing if it allowed the election management body to speak for itself and its role in the hugely contentious election, beyond the use of the law to allow the EC and its chairperson go “off the hook.”

He says these leave huge doubts in the minds of the public about these state institutions.

He said these at a three-day sensitization workshop on the 2020 general elections in Ada.

Prof Prempeh said: …if you project on the national scene, you said you have 21 days to comb through the whole country, gather all the evidence you can find and bring it to us as a private litigant when there is a public authority that possesses all of the information that you will need.

“What is lost by allowing the elections management body to speak for itself to admit that errors were made but to say they were inconsequential?

“But the cost is high. The cost in saying you may remain silent as if, if you actually came you will self-incriminate and we will put you in jail, there is no threat to the liberty of the institution, they won’t be jailed.”

During the election petition hearing, Lawyer for the EC Justin Amenuvor on Monday February 8, 2021, moved to close his case after the cross-examination of the third witness of the petitioner, Rojo Mettle Nunoo without Jean Mensa being cross-examined.

Mr Amenuvor told the court that given the evidence of the petitioner’s witnesses who were crossed examined in the case, they do not want to lead any further evidence.

“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.”

Lead Counsel for the petitioner, Tsatsu Tsikata however objected to the move by lawyer for the 1st Respondent.

But the apex court ruled that the EC Chair could not be forced to testify.

Source: 3news.com
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