Former President John Dramani Mahama has refueled his legal pursuit to have the Chairperson of the Electoral Commission (EC), Mrs Jean Adukwei Mensa, testify in the 2020 presidential election petition at the Supreme Court.
When the highest court of the land resumes sitting on the petition today, it will deal with two applications by Mr Mahama (petitioner), both geared towards ensuring that the Chairperson of the EC testifies in court. The first is a review application challenging the court’s ruling not to grant permission to the petitioner to reopen his case in order for his lawyers to subpoena Mrs Mensa to appear before the court and testify, while the second is an application for stay of proceedings urging the court to put the petition on hold until the final determination of the review application.
Lawyers for the petitioner filed the two applications last Thursday shortly after the apex court had dismissed another review application by Mr Mahama which was challenging the court’s decision not to compel Mrs Mensa to testify.
It is the petitioner’s contention that the court’s decision of February 16, 2021 not to allow him to reopen his case in order to subpoena Mrs Mensa was fraught with fundamental errors of law, which had “occasioned a grave miscarriage of justice” to him. Among other things, Mr Mahama argues that the court did not take into consideration Section 72 of the Evidence Act, 1975 (NRCD 323), which he said would have allowed him to call Mrs Mensa to testify, subject to the discretion of the court.
He contends that the court rather relied on a subsidiary legislation — Order 38 Rule 3E (5) of C.I. 47, as amended by C.I. 87, to decide that the EC had the right to call or not to call witnesses.
“The ruling was in fundamental error in subjecting statutory provisions in the Evidence Act, 1975 to the provisions of subsidiary legislation, specifically Order 38 Rule 3E (5) of C.I. 47, as amended by C.I. 87, and has occasioned a grave miscarriage of justice to the applicant (Mahama),” the petitioner avers in his statement of case.