John Mahama at the Supreme court
John Mahama at the Supreme Court

A nine-member panel of Supreme Court judges has unanimously affirmed a seven-member panel decision that the Electoral Commission (EC) cannot be compelled to call its Chairperson, Mrs Jean Mensa, 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 of a witness statement did not mean she has to testify.

The court also said the depositions in affidavits with regards to the interrogatories do not mean the witness can be compelled.

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.

John Mahama’s lawyers filed for a review of this decision, saying the Apex Court committed errors of law in arriving at this conclusion.

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

Lead Counsel for the petitioner, Tsatsu Tsikata, insisted that the nine-member panel ought to rule that Mrs 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 Nana Akufo-Addo and the EC.

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

These conditions are exceptional circumstances that have resulted in a miscarriage of justice and discovery of new and important matter or evidence which, after the exercise of due diligence, was not within the applicant’s knowledge or could not be produced by him.

The nine-member panel ruled that these conditions have not been met.