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Jean Mensa cannot be a hostile witness – Supreme Court tells petitioner


The Supreme Court has said the first respondent in the 2020 election petition, Jean Mensa cannot be called an “adverse or hostile witness under any circumstance.”

According to the court, Jean Mensa cannot be described as such when she has not even mounted the witness box to testify.

This was in response to the petitioner’s lawyer Tsatsu Tsikata who had earlier described Jean Mensa as a hostile witness for deciding not to testify in the election petition case.

In explaining one of the reasons the application to reopen the case was dismissed by the court, Chief Justice Kwasi Anin-Yeboah said there was no proof by the petitioner, that the court ruling on February 11, 2021, translated to any miscarriage of justice hence the dismissal.

Reading the ruling on behalf of the seven-member Supreme Court panel on Tuesday, February 16, 2021, the Chief Justice said, “a witness who has not yet entered the witness box to testify cannot, therefore, be called an adverse or hostile witness under any circumstance. The petitioner has not demonstrated to us in any way that the decision of the respondents not to testify which was upheld by this court in its ruling on February 11, 2021, has occasioned any miscarriage of justice,” as quoted by CitiNews.

“The rules permit a party to call or not to call a witness who has filed a witness statement to testify, as the mere filing of a witness statement does not constitute an election to testify as we rightly held in our ruling on February 11, 2021. Again, the petitioner did not decide to close his case after the testimony of his third witness just because the chairperson of the first respondent has filed her witness statement. This is because, in law, a plaintiff or petitioner does not require evidence from his or her adversary in a system like ours to prove his or her case… The plaintiff or the petitioner succeeds on the strengths of his or her own case and not the weakness of his or her adversaries’ case.” He added.

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The Supreme Court dismissed an application filed by former President John Mahama to have his case re-opened, noting that the application lacks merit therefore proceeded with the ongoing case without any hesitation.

This comes after the lawyer for the petitioner in the ongoing election petition, Tsatsu Tsikata, filed a motion of leave to re-open their case in the 2020 election petition, to enable the chairperson of the Electoral Commission, Jean Mensa testify in court.

But the court today, February 16, 2021 dismissed their motion to reopen the case stating that they find no merit in the application.

He added that the EC is not on trial and cannot be asked to vindicate herself among many other reasons.


Source: www.ghanaweb.com

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