The Election Petition has reached its height of seeing Jean Mensa, the Chairperson of the Electoral Commission, in the dock to be cross-examined by the counsel for Petitioner John Dramani Mahama.
The lawyers for the petitioner had always wanted this opportunity to examine the actions of Jean Mensa, the Returning Officer for the 2020 Presidential Election, whom the Supreme Court prevented from providing answers to 12 “interrogatories” regarding “what actually happened” during the declaration of the presidential election results, rather than the legally required steps as laid out in the Answer or Response from the EC.
When the legal processes were filed at the Supreme Court on Monday, January 18, 2021, under a procedure called “Discovery” with a specific subset called “Interrogatories” which sought to ask “12 questions” about the processes leading up to the declaration of results as explained in the EC’s own response to the petition, the Supreme Court dismissed the “Application” during its sitting on Tuesday, January 19, 2021.
In their ruling, the seven-member panel of the court presided over by Justice Kwasi Anin Yeboah, the Chief Justice, dismissed the Application with the view that the crucial issues of relevancy had not been established by the petitioner.
Further, the court stated in their certified true copy of the ruling which Tsikata had requested for so that his team could advise itself that, “subsequent to 2013, several statutory amendments have been made by C.I. 99 of 2016 which has restricted the practice and procedure of this court as regards Election Petition”.
The court explained that even though “reference was made to the 2013 [presidential election] petition in which an application for interrogatories was granted by the Supreme Court, “Rule 69 of the Supreme Court amendment in C.I. 99 directs the expeditious disposal of petitions and set timelines for this court to dispose off the petition.”