Lead Counsel for the petitioner in the ongoing presidential election petition hearing, Tsatsu Tsikata, has told the court that the chair of the 1st Respondent, Mrs Jean Mensa, cannot skip cross-examination.
Mr Tsatsu argued that by filing a witness statement, the 1st Respondent has opened her up for cross-examination.
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“It is our respectful submission that by filing its witness statement the first respondent has clearly crossed the bridge as far as opening the witness up for cross-examination is concerned. That bridge has been crossed, the ship has already been sailed,” Mr Tsikata said in his argument to the bench.
Asked by one of the justices, Professor Nii Ashie Quartey, whether or not Mrs Mensa cannot change her mind to testify, Mr Tsikata answered: “The court has the power to disallow that change of mind.”
For his part, lawyer for the 2nd respondent, Akoto Ampaw, told the Supreme Court that the petitioner cannot compel the respondents to elect a witness to appear in the witness box.
During legal arguments on a move by the respondents’ decision not to testify in the case on Tuesday, February 9, Mr Ampaw told the court “the petitioner cannot compel us to enter the witness box to adduce evidence.”
He added: “The petitioner has adduced evidence and closed his case, we have taken the position that in our assessment they have not discharged the burden of proof and the burden of producing evidence and therefore, we will not give further evidence and the court will determine the case on the evidence before it.
“We are entitled not to adduce any evidence, we are entitled not to call any witness.”
Lawyers for the 1st and 2nd respondents on Monday, February 8 moved to close their cases in the ongoing election petition without their witnesses being cross-examined.
This was after Counsel for the petitioner, Mr Tsikata closed his case.
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Justin Amenuvor, lawyer for the 1st Respondent, told the court that given the evidence of the petitioner’s witnesses who were crossed examined in the case, they do not want to lead any further evidence.
“Given the evidence of the petitioner’s witnesses under cross examination so far, of those witnesses, speaking for the 1st respondent, it is the 1st respondent’s case that we do not wish to lead any further evidence and therefore we are praying that this matter proceeds under Order 36 Rule 43 and CI 87 rule 3 (e) 5, we hereby and on that basis close our case.”