SC affirms ruling that EC Chair cannot be compelled to testify

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Thu, 18 Feb 2021 Source: rainbowradioonline.com

The application for review of the unanimous seven-member panel, to compel EC Chair, Jean Mensa to testify in the ongoing election petition has been dismissed.

The nine-member panel of Supreme Court Judges unanimously affirmed a seven-member panel decision stressing that the EC Chair cannot be compelled to testify in the election petition.

The earlier panel comprising; Chief Justice Kwasi Anin Yeboah, Justices Appau, Marful-Sau, Nene Amegatcher, Mariana Owusu, and Gertrude Torkonoo ruled that the EC boss filing a witness statement does not mean she has to testify.

The Chief Justice who read the decision explained that no provision in the constitution or statute has been pointed out to show that the EC Chairperson can be subjected to different rules contrary to established rules of procedure and settled practice.

Dissatisfied by this, lawyers for the petitioner John Dramani Mahama led by Tsatsu Tsikata filed for a review.

He had argued that the panel should rule that Mrs. Jean Mensa by filing a witness statement and making claims of petitioner’s option of cross-examining her in an affidavit should be compelled to testify.

This was opposed by lawyers for President Akufo-Addo and the EC.

They relied on rule 54 of the Supreme Court rules (C.I 16) to insists that the conditions meriting a review have not been met.

The court in their ruling stated that these conditions have not been met hence dismissed it.

The court said the Petitioner has not been able to satisfy the court with any exceptional ground for the court to grant the request.

“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]. In the result, the application fails, and it is hereby dismissed,” he said.

The Chief Justice also indicated the request by lawyer Akoto Ampaw for a cost to be awarded against the petitioner was not granted.

He stated that this was a constitutional matter hence no cost could be awarded.

The review had Justices Tanko and Lovelace Johnson joining the original 7 member panel to hear the case.

Source: rainbowradioonline.com
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