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Election Petition: I advise petitioner to file a motion to discontinue petition – NDC MP

Rockson-Nelson Este Kwami Dafeamekpor, the NDC MP for South Dayi has said the Petitioner in the ongoing Election Petition at the Supreme Court should file a motion to discontinue the hearing.

According to him, looking at how the Justices at the Supreme Court are throwing out motions filed by the Counsels for the Petitioner, it clearly shows that the opposition party is endangered in the country and that “Justice emanates from the people” as espoused in the Constitution no longer holds.

In a post on his Twitter timeline, the MP wrote, “I advise that the party files a motion for leave to discontinue or withdraw the petition without liberty to reapply. The NDC is clearly endangered in this Country. “Justice emanates from the People… Art. 125(1)”.

The seven-member panel of the Supreme Court in its ruling on Tuesday, February 16, said it cannot give the petitioner in the on-going election petition an opportunity to reopen his case for the purpose of a subpoena being issued on Jean Adukwei Mensah, Chairperson of the Electoral Commission.

Jean Mensa, as the Returning Officer of the presidential election, has the sole responsibility of declaring the election results.

The court presided over by Chief Justice (CJ) Kwasi Anin-Yeboah is of the view that the petitioner cannot hide under the cloak of new evidence to fill the gaps and lapses in his case.

The Justices also pointed out that the petitioner has not even adduced any new and compelling evidence in its application and that “petitioner has advanced the same arguments” of his counsel during an earlier oral argument on that matter, the day all parties closed their case on 11 February 2021.

Tsikata had on 11 February, made the oral submission for reopening of the case since the CJ himself had expressed surprise that the respondents had closed their case suddenly, opting not to call their scheduled witnesses.

The Chief Justice in an extensive reference to the Poku v. Poku 2007-08 Supreme Court of Ghana case available in the Ghana Law Report, read the unanimous ruling.

“The rule is intended to assist an applicant who has made a general attempt to look for the evidence and has worked in favour to cause us to be ardent to unmasking attempt by an unsatisfied party coming through the back door and under the cloak of having to come by new or fresh evidence seeking to fill in gaps or lapses in his or her case. The rule is not meant to aid the slothful or indolent, the reckless or negligent litigant whether acting same or through his counsel” the Chief Justice quoted.

He continued the aforementioned reference: “The application is not granted on compassionate grounds neither is it meant to give [……], particularly a litigant, acting through counsel and who fails at the trial to marshall his facts carefully or fails to conduct his case properly by presenting essential evidence at the trial or through the necessary cross-examination. And also fails to conduct the necessary investigation in which he would have thrown light on or strengthened his case or give him or her a second chance at rebuilding his or her case,” Justice Anin Yeboah quoted.

According to the Chief Justice, the same point was captured in the case of Annabel versus Owusu 1982-83, Ghana Law Report 585.

He concluded by referencing a Canadian case cited by Akoto Ampaw, counsel for the 2nd Respondent, and stated that even though the power to grant an applicant the opportunity to reopen their case is at the discretion of the court, it must be used sparingly.

Source: www.ghanaweb.com

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