Election Petition: Jean Mensa denies informing Mahama of her desire to testify in court

Jean Adukwei Mensa, the Chairperson of the 1st Respondent, that is the Electoral Commission, says that at no time did she inform John Dramani Mahama, the Petitioner in the ongoing Election Petition suit at the Supreme Court, or his lawyers, that she desires to testify in the case.

According to her, she has through her lawyers stated categorically that she would not testify in the case whose reliefs, among others, seeks to annul the declaration made by Jean Mensa, Returning Officer for the Presidential Election that Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, the 2nd Respondent, was the winner.

In an affidavit in opposition to the motion for leave to reopen the case of the Petitioner cited by GhanaWeb, the Returning Officer for the December 7 elections indicated that “the application is not warranted by rule of law or procedure and the same should be dismissed” by the panel of Justices hearing the case.

In Paragraph 4 of her affidavit, Jean Mensa stated, “I observe from the motion paper that the Petitioner-Applicant seeks leave of this Court to reopen the case of the Petitioner-Applicant ‘to enable Chairperson of Electoral Commission to testify’, creating erroneous impression that this Application is made at my behest. At no time have I informed the Petitioner or his lawyers of my desire to testify in this case.”

John Dramani Mahama, the flagbearer of the NDC on Thursday, February 11, 2021, lost his bid to compel Jean Mensa to take the witness box to be cross-examined.

Tsatsu Tsikata, the lead counsel for the Petitioner informed the Supreme Court panel that the Petitioner intended to reopen the case with the leave of the Court so that the EC Chairperson will be subpoenaed to testify.

Mahama has since filed new documents indicating a desire to ask the Court on Monday to be allowed to reopen the case.

This, the Petitioner explains, is to allow him to subpoena Jean Mensa to mount the witness stand and testify.

But the EC Chairperson in her affidavit told the Court:

“I am advised and verily believe that the Application does not show sufficient reason for the Court to permit the Petitioner to reopen his case. I am advised that reopening a case is not a remedy for the asking; the Applicant must show the harm to be suffered if the case were not reopened. The Petitioner skipped this requirement. Again, I am advised that the Petitioner’s lawyers were confident when they closed his case without reservation and this Court ought not to permit proceedings before it to drag unduly on the basis of a Party’s afterthought and inability to prove its case in Court. Further, I am advised that nothing new has happened to warrant the Petitioner re-opening his case. On 11th February 2021, this Court ruled that the 1st Respondent was entitled to decide not to testify. I verily believe that the decision affirmed a right vested in 1st Respondent at all material times, to the time when the 1st Respondent announced to the Court that it was exercising the right.”

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