Akoto Ampaw is the Lead Counsel for President Akufo-Addo in the 2020 Presidential Election Petition
Akoto Ampaw is the Lead Counsel for President Nana Akufo-Addo in the 2020 Presidential Election Petition

It has emerged that witnesses for the Electoral Commission (EC) and President Nana Akufo-Addo in the 2020 election petition do not want to mount the witness box.

Lead counsel for the EC, Justin Amenuvor, told the apex court that his client, the EC chair, Mrs Jean Mensa, who is the First Respondent, has decided not to adduce any evidence.

He, therefore, stated the court should decide the petition filed by the Presidential candidate of the National Democratic Congress (NDC), John Mahama on its merit.

Mr Amenuvor premised his argument on Order 36 (4) sub-rule 3 of the High Court (Civil Procedure Rule ), C.I 47, which, he argued, allowed the respondent to decide not to adduce any evidence.

“The case of the First Respondent is that we do not wish to adduce any evidence. Our case is closed,” he stated.

Lawyer for the President, who is also the second respondent, took the same position and submitted that their witness, Peter Mac Manu, will also not give any evidence.

Mr Amenuvor and Akoto Ampaw revealed this on Monday, February 8, 2021, following the cross-examination of the third witness for the petitioner, Robert Joseph Mettle-Nunoo.

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Meanwhile, lead counsel for the petitioner, Tsatsu Tsikata in response opposed the stance.

He argued that so far as Mrs Mensa had put in a witness statement, and had indicated that she will testify, she had “elected” to give evidence and by the rules of court, she must give the evidence.

According to him, Mrs Mensa’s indication to give evidence led the court to order the parties to file their witness statements, adding that that order still stands.

Justices on the bench such as Justices Gertrude Torkornoo, Nii Ashie Kotey and Samuel Marful-Sau asked Mr Tsikata whether a witness can be forced to give evidence.

The Supreme Court has adjourned the case to Tuesday for the lawyers to address the case on the issue and for the court to make a determination.