The Supreme Court hearing the election petition of the 2020 NDC flagbearer, John Mahama, has decided to accept some portions of the witness statement of the NDC General Secretary, Johnson Asiedu Nketia.
Several parts of the same statement were also struck by the seven-member panel headed by the Chief Justice Anin Yeboah.
Paragraphs 21, 32 and 33, which challenges the total valid votes declared by the EC Chairperson, Jean Mensa which saw the NPP Presidential candidate Nana Akufo-Addo winning the 2020 polls, have been held as a matter of contention, since it is a matter in the proceedings.
Paragraph 6, 7, 25, 26, 28, 30 and 37 has been struck out by the court on the basis that the witness (Johnson Asiedu Nketia) cannot testify to the facts of the said paragraphs.
The court found that the statement contained in those paragraphs did not fall within the witness’ knowledge.
The Apex court claimed that if it was the Petitioner [John Mahama] himself who testified it, the paragraphs would have been accepted.
Subsequently, the above paragraphs were removed from the witness statement of Mr. Asiedu Nketia.
The judgment of the court comes after the presidential lawyer, Akoto Ampaw, objected to his description of the assertion as ‘scandalous’.
Mr. Ampaw took offence to some arguments captured in the witness statement of the NDC stalwart.
He pointed to paragraphs 6, 7, 21, 25, 26, 28, 30, 32, 33, and 37 allegations, he described as baseless against the Chairperson of Ghana’s Electoral body, Jean Mensa.
Sections of the paragraphs captured suggest that, the EC Chairperson Jean Mensa, who was appointed by President Nana Akufo-Addo in August 2018 and of whom the EC boss is closely connected to the wife, was biased in favor of the 2nd Respondent [Nana Akufo-Addo].
The statement also indicated, that the EC boss was in prejudice towards the second respondent and against the complainant, John Mahama, at any significant time in performing its responsibilities.
“We are objecting to certain paragraphs in the witness statement of Johnson Asiedu Nketia on grounds that they are not based on the pleadings.
“They are duly prejudicial, scandalous and we pray that you strike it out as such,” he thus so prayed.
According to him, John Dramani Mahama’s legal team did not include a shred of proof to the arguments cited in those paragraphs.
But the seven-member panel were not in haste to bury this one.
An arrow from both sides of the panel welcomed Mr. Ampaw’s objection.
The judges asked how any of the (32 and 33) paragraphs could impact the validity of the respondent [President Nana Akufo-Addo].
The apex court advised Counsel for the President to resist going on this legal banter.
Again Mr. Ampaw insisted that the petitioners “cannot give a witness statement that does not correspond to their complaints.”
Counsel for the Electoral Commission, Justin Amenuvor associated himself with the submission of Mr Ampaw.
Tsatsu Tsikata was second to lift an objection.
In response to paragraph 26, he said these allegations of bias are sufficiently referenced in the pleadings.
In Jumping to the defense of Mr. Asiedu Nketia, he said that in these circumstances the quoted paragraphs are all material.
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