Election Petition: Supreme Court’s decision has not done the people any great service- Dr Ayine

Supreme Court

“We think that the Court by its decision not to allow the Petitioner reopen its case has not done the people of this country any great service.”

Dr Dominic Ayine, a Spokesperson for the Petitioner in the 2020 Presidential Election trial, said on Tuesday.

He said Ghanaians were interested in knowing the truth and the constitution was very clear that justice emanates from the people and must be exercised in the name of and the welfare of the people.

Dr Ayine, reacting to the Supreme Court’s decision not to allow the Petitioner to reopen his case, alleged that the Justices had a predetermined agenda to rule against the Petitioner, former President Mr John Dramani Mahama.

He said the Justices had done a great disservice to the people of Ghana by dismissing an application filed by the petitioner to reopen his case.

He also alleged that he was surprised that Court itself, who set out five key issues to be determined, was now reducing the issues to one.

He said the Petitioner had made it abundantly clear in the petition that there were a number of infractions. “We are contesting even the Constitutionality of the declaration that was made. We are saying that she violated Article 23 of the Constitution because she is an administrative body.”

He said Mrs Jean Mensa, Chairperson, Electoral Commission, who was the first respondent had exercised her discretion contrary to Article 296 of the Constitution and that those were all the germane issues under the Constitution and laws of Ghana.

The Spokesperson said to reduce the Petition into a single issue was rather unfortunate and “smacks of” a predetermined agenda to rule against the petitioner in this matter.

Earlier, the Supreme Court panel presided over by Chief Justice Kwasi Anin-Yeboah ruling on the Petitioners motion for leave to reopen his case, said the Petitioner’s Counsel failed to provide any evidence to warrant the reopening of their case.

He explained that Mrs Jean could not be tagged as a hostile witness because she had not yet mounted the witness box to give evidence in the trial.

He said the Counsel for the Petitioner failed to meet the threshold for which leave could be granted for a party to reopen their case to adduce further evidence.

“A witness, who has not yet entered the witness box to testify, cannot, therefore, be called an adverse or hostile witness under any circumstance,” he added.

The Chief Justice said the Petitioner had not demonstrated to them in any way that the decision of the respondents not to testify which was upheld by the court in its ruling on February 11, 2021, has occasioned any miscarriage of justice.

He said the rules permitted a party to call or not to call a witness, who had filed a witness statement to testify, as the mere filing of a witness statement does not constitute an election to testify as they rightly held in their ruling on February 11, 2021.

Again, the Petitioner did not decide to close his case after the testimony of his third witness just because the Chairperson of the first respondent has filed her witness statement.

He said this was because, “In law a plaintiff or Petitioner does not require evidence from his or her adversary in a system like ours to prove his or her case, The plaintiff or the Petitioner succeeds on the strengths of his or her own case and not the weakness of his or her adversaries’ case.”

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