Election Petition: It’s not necessary for Mahama to testify – Ayine
Dr. Dominic Ayine, a spokesperson for former President John Mahama in the Election Petition case says his client cannot be compelled to personally be in the witness box to be cross-examined.
He said such suggestions by lawyers for the second respondent, Nana Akufo-Addo is flawed.
Speaking at a press briefing after the adjournment of today’s [January 29, 2021] proceedings, Dominic Ayine said the petitioner, John Mahama, exercised his right to call a witness to help his case.
“It is far from being the case that John Dramani Mahama himself must testify in this matter. He has filed a petition. He is entitled as of right under the law to call witnesses in aid of his case and that is what he has done,” he said.
“In 2013, H.E. Nana Akufo-Addo never testified. He called witnesses to testify on his behalf. So is it the case that when it comes to H.E. John Dramani Mahama, the law must switch and compel him to testify?” he quizzed.
The proceedings of Friday, January 29, 2021, saw the General Secretary of the National Democratic Congress (NDC) Johnson Asiedu Nketia taking to the witness box and being cross-examined by lawyers for the first and second respondents.
Mr. Asiedu Nketia in some of his responses to questions asked by the lead counsel for the second respondent, Akoto Ampaw said he was not the petitioner hence could not provide answers.
Frank Davies, one of the lawyers for the second respondent later quizzed why Mr. Asiedu Nketia was in court if he could not speak for John Mahama in the case.
“When Mr. Asiedu Nketia mounted the witness box in court today. He was largely evasive and for every question that was posed to him. His immediate response was that ‘I do not speak for the petitioner’. This is someone who in paragraph two of his own witness statement stated clearly that he was to lend aid to the petition filed by the petitioner…So how can you come to court as a witness for a party and when you are asked questions in court, your response is that I don’t speak for the petitioner? Then why are you in the court?” Frank Davies quizzed.
But Dominic Ayine said Mr. Davies’ position was surprising as he seems to be confusing the petitioner with a witness.
“I’m surprised that a senior like Frank Davies’ stature is confusing the petitioner with witnesses the petitioner calls.”
The court is expected to continue with the cross-examination on Monday, February 1, 2021.