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But Mahama’s lawyers insist witnesses were truthful

February 25, 2021 By 0 Comments

Lawyers for the petitioner in the 2020 presidential election petition have told the Chief Justice Kwasi Anin-Yeboah-led panel of seven judges who heard the case, that the three witnesses they called were truthful to the court.

According to the counsel for the petitioner, the credibility of all three witnesses of the petitioner and their candour was beyond doubt.

This was contained in the writing of the closing address by the petitioner, dated in Accra on February 23, 2021, and signed by Tony Lithur, Solicitor for petitioner.

Presenting the case of the petitioner, beginning with the witness statement of the Petitioner Witness 1 (PW1), Johnson Asiedu Nketiah, the closing address prayed the court to disregard the 2nd respondent’s answer that the declaration by the 1st respondent was an “inadvertent error.”

The petitioner wrote: “This court can attach no value either to the answer of 2nd Respondent, which, similarly, is backed by no evidence.”

The 42-page address of the petitioner invited the court to take note of the evidence from both his second and third witnesses, Dr Michael Kpessah Whyte and Robert Joseph Mettle-Nunoo, juxtaposed with the supposed statements by Mr Peter Mac Manu, the Attorney for the 2nd Respondent, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo.

“This court will also need to take note of the evidence from PW1 and PW2 about contemporaneous statements made by the Attorney of 2nd Respondent, Mr Peter Mac Manu, that reinforce the testimony of the Petitioner’s witnesses and confirm them to be truthful witnesses about the events on 9th December 2020. The credibility of all three witnesses of Petitioner and their complete truthfulness is beyond doubt,” the document captured.

Further, the petitioner told the court that based on the declaration by the Chairperson of the 1st respondent, Jean Adukwei Mensa, and because the 1st respondent did respond to the petitioner’s request to admit facts, which means an admission of such fact, concludes that no candidate obtained more than 50% of the total valid votes cast.

Mr Mahama’s lawyers emphasised that the 1st Respondent in the December 9, 2020 declaration of the December 7 presidential election result acted unconstitutionally against Article 63(3) of the Constitution of the Republic of Ghana.

“The evidence from the terms of the declaration and the considerations that the Chairperson said were the basis of the declaration she was making, led to the conclusion that 2nd Respondent could only be credited with 49.625% of the votes at the time,” parts of the written address said.

It continued: “Accordingly, Petitioner discharged the burden of proof that was on him. This, thereby, also overturned the prima facie evidence provided by virtue of Article 63(9) of the Constitution, to the effect that based on [Constitutional Instrument] C.I. 135 [in turn, based on December 9, 2020, declaration], the person named in the declaration by the Chairperson was validly elected.

“Upon the displacement of the prima facie evidence by unchallenged evidence and admitted facts, as shown above, the burden shifted to 1st Respondent who would now have to establish firstly, that its Chairperson had “inadvertently” made an error in the figure of total valid votes cast that she announced on 9 December 2020, and secondly that she later obtained the correct numbers in accordance with her constitutional and statutory obligations. It would then fall to be determined if it is established that she had ‘inadvertently’ made an error on 9 December 2020, how the correction of errors in her declaration ought to be made.”

Lawyers for the petitioner argued in their closing address that the fact that the petitioner was not indicating in the petition what he or the other candidates should have obtained compared to numbers declared by 1st respondent cannot lead to a conclusion that the declaration by the Chairperson of the 1st respondent was constitutional.

They have thus prayed the Supreme Court to order the Electoral Commission to organise a run-off between President Akufo-Addo and Mr Mahama.

“The case of the petitioner here is simply; that, in addition to the fundamental Constitutional infractions committed by Mrs Jean Adukwei Mensa, the Chairperson of 1st Respondent and Returning Officer of the Presidential Election, the figures announced in the declaration she herself made on 9th December 2020, no candidate got more than 50% of the valid votes cast, and, as a constitutional consequence, a run-off election would be required. Petitioner’s own figures are not relevant to determining whether that claim is well-founded or not.”

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