Monday, 08 March

Election petition: You 'erred' in refusing my case reopening application – Mahama to SC; files for review

Politics
Former President John Mahama and his legal team

Former President John Mahama has filed for a review of a decision by the Supreme Court which said he could not reopen his case in the ongoing election petition through which he is challenging the presidential results of the December 2020 polls as declared by the Electoral Commission.

The Supreme Court, on Tuesday, 16 February 2021, ruled unanimously that Mr Mahama could not reopen his case for the sole purpose of subpoenaing the star witness of the EC and using her as an "adverse" witness.

Chief Justice Anin Yeboah read the ruling, which quoted several authorities to buttress the court's position.

"A mere filing of a witness statement is not an election to testify", Justice Anin Yeboah said.

He continued: "As we’ve already indicated in this ruling supra, the petitioner in this application has not given us an inkling of the new or fresh evidence he wants to bring to the fore through the Chairperson of the first respondent and how that evidence could assist the court to do justice to the matters under consideration in this petition. Neither has he disclosed how that evidence will advance the cause of his petition.

“For the above-stated reasons, we find no merit or favour in the petitioner’s application to reopen his case for the sole purpose of compelling his adversaries’ intended witness to testify through a subpoena without indicating the sort of evidence he intends to solicit from the said witness and how that evidence is going to help the court in resolving the dispute before us. We accordingly refuse the application and proceed without any hesitation to dismiss it", the ruling said. 

However, Mr Mahama, in a review application filed by his lawyers, said the court committed errors in law in its ruling.

“I am advised by counsel and verily believe the court made fundamental errors of law including the ruling being per incuriam of constitutional provisions, statutes and previous decisions of the Supreme Court”, parts of the application said. 

“Among these errors, I am advised by counsel and verily believe is an error whereby the courts subordinates a provision in the Evidence Act to a rule in subsidiary legislation by the Rules of Court Committee,” he noted. 

According to him, “the fundamental errors, which have occasioned a miscarriage of justice are set out in the statement of case herewith attached”.

“I am advised and verily believe that they constitute exceptional circumstances that warrant the court reviewing its own decision”, he argued.

The court will hear the application on Monday, 22 February 2021.

Source: ClassFMonline.com