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2020 election petition: Mahama files motion to reopen case

The move comes after the Supreme Court ruled that the EC chair could not be compelled to take the witness box

John Dramani Mahama, the petitioner in the 2020 election petition has filed a motion at the Supreme Court to reopen his case to be able to subpoena Jean Mensa, the chairperson of the Electoral Commission (EC).

Lawyers for the petitioner on Thursday (11 February 2021) filed the motion after the Supreme Court ruled that the EC chair could not be compelled to take the witness box.

“My Lords, we know that we can issue a subpoena without leave but since we have closed our case on the assumption that she will be (in the witness box)…we intend to file a formal motion,” Tsatsu Tsikata said.

The Supreme Court on Thursday (11 February) ruled that witnesses of the first and second respondents cannot be compelled to mount the witness box to testify in the ongoing 2020 election petition.

The decision by the Supreme Court follows oral arguments made by the lawyers for the first and second respondents that their clients cannot be compelled to testify.

“…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 respondent 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,” Chief Justice Annin Yeboah said.

Filing of addresses

To this end, the Supreme Court has ruled that the three parties, (the Petitioner, first respondent (EC), and second respondent (President Akufo-Addo), are to file their closing addresses by Wednesday 17 February 2021.

The court further ruled that it would reconstitute on Thursday 18 February 2021, for the parties to present their closing arguments to pave way for the court to set a date for its judgment on the petition.

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