Lawyer Tsatsu Tsikata who is the lead counsel for the flagbearer of the NDC and petitioner John Dramani Mahama has disclosed that there is no way the Chairperson of the Electoral Commission Jean Mensa can run away from cross-examination.
Yesterday, the petitioner in the ongoing election petition closed his case in court after their third witness Rojo Mettle-Nunoo finished with his cross examination.
At the end of their case, it was expected that the first respondent which is the EC commissioner would open her defence and mount the witness box and allow herself to be cross-examined by the lawyer of the petitioner Tsatsu Tsikata by her lawyers officially told the court she was not going to mount the witness box.
This move new twist got lawyer Tsatsu Tsikata to object to the motion by the lawyer for the Jean Mensa stating that she couldn’t run away from cross examination in this crutial matter.
Mr Tsatsu Tsikata, counter-argued: “It is our respectful submission that counsel for the first respondent that not have it opened to him to take the course that he just proposed to this court. Order 36 Rule 4(3) that he referred to, specifically says: ‘Where the defendant elects not to adduce evidence’. In this proceedings, the defendant has put in a witness statement.”
“The election that they made to submit the witness statement to the court, is a clear a clear indication that they made an election to the contrary because My Lords, in these proceedings, at the point of case management, Your Lordships basically asked questions from all parties as regards witnesses being called and it is at the point of case management where such an election is notified to the court.
“At that point, they elected to submit a witness statement. Now, that witness statement is not yet in evidence; that is true, but this is referring to an election; the point of election came at the point of the case management and we are respectfully submitting that this witness cannot run away from cross-examination when they have elected”, he argued.
Chief Justice Anin Yeboah, however, asked Mr Tsikata to tone down on his choice of words, saying “evade” would have been a more appropriate word to use, to which Mr Mahama’s lawyer conceded.
Some of the Justices on the Bench also engaged Mr Tsikata with some questions about whether his arguments meant a witness must, by all means, mount the dock even against his or her wish.
Justice Gertrude Torkornoo, for instance wondered if it did not border on human rights.
“Mr Tsikata I want to understand something; are you suggesting that a witness can be compelled to give evidence? Mr Tsikata isn’t compelling someone to testify a human rights questions? Nobody can compel a witness to testify”.