Akoto Ampaw, the lead lawyer for President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, second respondent in the ongoing election petition case, has asked the Supreme Court to delete portions of the witness statement filed for Johnson Asiedu Nketia, General Secretary of the National Democratic Congress.
According to Akoto Ampaw, about ten paragraphs in Asiedu Nketia’s statement should be expunged because they are “not based on the pleadings of the petitioner, unduly prejudicial and scandalous”.
The paragraphs in question are 6, 7, 21, 25, 26, 28, 30, 32, 33 and 37.
“They are not based on the pleadings, unduly prejudicial, scandalous and accordingly, we would pray that parts of those paragraphs be struck out,” Mr. Akoto Ampaw pleaded with the justices of the Supreme Court.
Lawyer for the Election Commission also endorsed the pleadings of Mr. Ampaw.
Tsatsu Tsikata, lead lawyer for John Dramani Mahama, the petitioner, however, insisted that every paragraph in Asiedu Nketia’s statement is “material” to their case.
Below are some of the arguments Mr. Ampaw raised in court on Friday, January 29, 2021:
Mr. Ampaw argued that paragraph 21 of Asiedu Nketia’s statement “is not pleaded. There is nothing in the pleadings to that effect. This evidence they are pleading is not based on the pleadings.”
“We also wish to take objection to paragraphs 6 and 7. They are completely out of place with the evidence in chief. It’s not admissible because there are not part of their pleadings. This cannot be part of their evidence.”
“We also take objection to that portion of paragraph 25 which starts on page 5 of the witness statement…We think this is highly prejudicial, scandalous and there are no pleadings to support this. And we pray that it should be struck out.”
“Our next objection relates to paragraph 26 from the sentence that reads, the chairperson of the first respondent allowed herself to be biased in favour of the second respondents…This sentence should be expunged. These are very serious allegations that have no pleadings.”
“The next part we take objection to relates to paragraph 28. No facts have been pleaded to that effect, prejudicial, and should be struck out accordingly.”
“We are also objecting to the whole of paragraph 30. It seeks to suggest that the whole exercise was organized by the first respondent with the object of suggesting that the collation and aggregation of votes were introduced without any good reason. He is talking about a piece of legislation. It’s not in their pleadings and unduly scandalous.”
“We also object to paragraph 32. This was not pleaded by the petitioner. It relates to 275 summary sheet results. Nowhere in the petition has there been any reference to any 275 summary sheet and the petitioner had all the opportunity to do so if he wanted to rely on this evidence. He failed to do so and trying to introduce it through the back door. We pray that it should be struck out.”
“We again object to paragraph 33, which is a consequence of paragraph 32. In a similar function, it should also be struck out,” Mr. Akoto Ampaw added.