A leading member of the NPP, Gabby Asare Otchere-Darko has said that Lead Counsel for the Petitioner in the ongoing Election Petition at the Supreme Court, Tsatsu Tsikata should admit he has been outsmarted by Counsels for the 1st and 2nd Respondents.
According to him, Tsatsu Tsikata cannot lead his client to bring unfounded allegations to the apex court, fail to provide sufficient evidence, and then expect respondents witnesses to help him prove his case.
He noted that a party calling a witness in court is an option and right one may or may not choose to exercise, depending on one’s strategy in court, so Mr. Tsikata cannot cajole the respondents into fielding a witness at all cost.
“You do not allege and expect the respondents to make your case for you if they opt not to mount the witness box. Calling of witnesses is an option which a party can choose not to exercise if indeed that party sees it as not necessary.
“Tsatsu should simply admit that he’s been outsmarted – it’s left with populist submissions for the ears of his party activists,” Gabby Okyere-Darko wrote in a Facebook post, after the case was adjourned to Thursday, February 11, 2021, for a ruling by the Supreme Court, on whether the respondents’ witnesses must mount the witness box.
Counsels for the 1st and 2nd Respondents had told the Supreme Court earlier they do not intend to call any witnesses to adduce evidence because they were satisfied that the petitioner did not provide any evidence to support the reliefs he sought in the petition.
The counsels for the two respondents cited Order 38, rule 3 (e) sub-rule 1 and 5 of CI 47 as amended by CI 87 as the basis for their decision to close their case and not call a witness.
Justin Amenuvor, Lead Counsel for the EC supported his argument with Section 62 of the Evidence Act, which states that the court cannot compel his client to testify against her will, while Lead Counsel for the President, Akoto Ampaw, maintained that the burden of proof lies with the petitioner and not the respondents.
Both Counsels told the court that they had expected the petitioner to be happy with their decision since it works in his favour.
But Tsatsu Tsikata vehemently objected to it saying that since the respondents have not made a submission of no case, the burden of proof does not apply as argued by the lawyers for the EC and Akufo-Addo.
He explained that the EC Chair, Jean Mensa had earlier indicated during the application for some interrogatories to be served on her that she was going to submit herself to cross-examination; the basis for which the court decided to dismiss the petitioner’s application and defer the interrogatories.
Tsatsu also insisted that the statement by the EC Chair, through various sworn affidavits to the court, binds her to be cross-examined.
He further insisted that Order 38, rule 3 (e) sub-rule 1 and 5 of CI 47 as amended by CI 87 did not apply to the current situation.
The 7-member panel of judges made up of the Chief Justice Anin-Yeboah; Justices Yaw Appau, Marful Sau, Professor Ashie Kotei, Mariama Owusu, Nene Amegatcher, and Gertrude Tokonor adjourned sitting to Thursday, February 11, 2021, to give its verdict.