As the National Democratic Congress leadership rehearses a political response to the alleged threat on the part of a KNUST postgraduate student, Simon Awini Ayamga, to torch the Supreme Court, together with its Law Lords and Ladies over what the suspect and the NDC believe is a conspiracy to shield the Electoral Commissioner from testifying in court, information received by The Thunder Gh News indicate that the KNUST branch of the Tertiary Education Institutions Network (TEIN) has given an ultimatum to the government to free the student or face the consequences.
The NDC leadership had been kept a stunning silence on the alarming incidents since the news broke out yesterday.
In a statement to the media, dated February 13, 2021, the NDC wing said academics is one key factor that shapes the lifestyles of persons and that any attempt to disrupt the pursuits of any individual for any reason is a threat to his person and society as a whole.
“Actually, we are giving the government a three-day ultimatum; if we don’t hear anything from the government, we will take further action”.
While they pleaded for his immediate release, they also threatened the security agencies in the same breath to release immediately him to “stop [them from taking] further action.”
One of the group’s leaders, Agyemang Simon, speaking to a media network, said with a few days for students to write their final exams, it is only logical that they give a three-day ultimatum to the security agencies to release the suspect so that his release is negotiated.
In a report widely covered by the local media, Simon, a resident of Sandema who is said to be studying for a post-graduate programme in Emergency Nursing at the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST) was arrested by the police, for allegedly threatening to burn down the Supreme Court, if the Justices failed to compel the Electoral Commission chairperson Jean Mensa to testify in the ongoing 2020 election petition hearing.
The allegation was made in a post on an NDC Whatsup platform on FaceBook titled POLITICS AND GOVERNANCE.
Simon’s contribution, which appeared to evoke some venom and criminality, attracted police, who traced him and picked him for interrogation.
Daily Statesman sources in Upper East, affirming the story, said the suspect fell into the temptation of shooting his mouth too wide when he commented beyond what the law offers by saying on a post in a WhatsApp group that the Supreme Court and, for that matter, its Law Lords and Ladies, do not deserve to exist and should be burnt unless Jean Mensa mounted the witness box to be cross-examined by the petitioner’s lead counsel Tsatsu Tsikata.
“Then we will burn down that place call the Supreme Court…They dare not say Jean Mensah should not enter the witness box,” Simon Awini Ayamga is quoted as having posted.
Meanwhile, the suspect and his mother are both alleged to have embarked on a hunger strike against what they believe to an infringement on the right of the son to express a free opinion on a matter of national interest.
Last Thursday, February 11, 2021, the Supreme Court has ruled that the chairperson of the EC which happens to be the first respondent and has filed a witness statement in defense of the petition cannot be forced to testify and be cross-examined by the petitioner’s lawyers.
Former President John Dramani Mahama has petitioned the apex court challenging the declaration of the December 7 last year’s election. He argues that none of the candidates who including himself that took part in the election got the constitutionally required 50%+1 votes, adding that the declaration of President Nana Akufo-Addo should be nullified.
On Monday, February 8, 2021, the petitioner’s legal team closed its case after the respondents’ lawyers had cross-examined the former’s, three witnesses.
The respondents’ lawyers then indicated to the court that they did not intend to call any witnesses, urging the court to proceed with the evidence before it.
They relied on Order 36 (4) sub-rule 3 of the High Court (Civil Procedure Rule), C. I 47, which they argued, allowed them to decide not to adduce any evidence.
According to them, having cross-examined the petitioner’s witnesses and considered the witness statements filed before the court, as well as the reliefs being sought by the entirety of the petition, they did not think the petitioners have made any groundbreaking case which warrants them calling any witnesses.
However, Tsatsu Tsikata, the petitioner’s lead counsel insisted that the first respondent’s chairperson had already “elected” to testify, so it was too late to change her mind.
Mr. Tsikata argued that by the constitutional duty imposed on the Electoral Commissioner as a public servant, she is required to render an account to Ghanaians as to how she executed that duty of declaring who duly won the 2020 presidential election.
He further argued that by the witness statement of the first respondent which its chairperson signed and, in several affidavits filed to the court in response to the petitioner’s refused application to serve interrogatories on her, among others, she had indicated that she would be available to provide the answers being sought during cross-examination when she mounts the witness box.
The NDC is likely to hold a press conference on the matter by the close of the day tomorrow Tuesday, after inciting its youth wings, including communicators and grassroots party apparatchiks, to hit the streets for being denied the joy of seeing John Mahama back in power.
By: Kofi Kyerebone