You can’t reopen case - Supreme Court tells John Mahama

Former President John Dramani Mahama, the petitioner challenging the outcome of the 2020 presidential election, has failed in yet another attempt to have the Chairperson of the Electoral Commission (EC), Mrs Jean Adukwei Mensa, testify in court.

The Supreme Court yesterday dismissed Mr Mahama’s application seeking leave (permission) to reopen his case to enable his lawyers to subpoena Mrs Mensa to appear before the court and testify.

In a unanimous decision, the seven-member panel of the apex court held that the application was without merit because the petitioner could not provide any cogent legal justification to back it.

It was the considered view of the court that Mr Mahama did not indicate to the court the sort of evidence he needed from the Chairperson of the EC and how the said evidence would aid in the determination of the petition.

“Neither has he (petitioner) disclosed how that evidence will advance the cause of his petition. For the advanced stated reasons, we find no merit whatsoever in the petitioner’s application to reopen his case,” it ruled.

The ruling was read by the Chief Justice and President of the seven-member panel, Justice Anin Yeboah.

This is the second failed attempt by Mr Mahama, who was the presidential candidate of the National Democratic Congress (NDC) in the December 2020 elections, to get the Chairperson of the EC into the witness box to enable his lawyers to cross-examine her.

In the first attempt, his lawyer, Mr Tsatsu Tsikata, objected to a decision by the EC (the first respondent) not to adduce any evidence, which ostensibly meant that Mrs Mensa would not testify.

The court, however, overruled that objection on the basis that the rules of court and decided cases did not grant it the power to compel a party to adduce evidence if the party decided not to do so.

Barely an hour after that ruling on February 11, 2020, Mr Mahama filed the application seeking leave to reopen his case, which was dismissed yesterday