Swagger KNUST student arrested over Election Petition threats, Mother cries as recalcitrant son goes on hunger strike
An eccentric student politician and self-styled communicator have been accused of having fallen foul of the criminal laws of the country.
In a report released by police sources, the student, who is said to be studying for a post-graduate programme in Emergency Nursing at the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST) has been 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 Thunder’s sources in Upper East, affirming the story, said to the suspect, identified by police as Simon Awini Ayamga, 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 dubbed POLITICS AND GOVERNANCE that the Supreme Court and, for that matter, its Law Lords and Ladies, do not deserve to exist and should be burnt if Jean Mensa fails to mount 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 mother of the KNUST student who threatened to burn down the Supreme Court alleges that both he and the son are 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 to 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 including himself that took part in the election got the constitutionally required 50%+1 votes, so 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.
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