Nana Adjoa Adobea Asante, a Member of the legal team of President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo in the 2020 Presidential Election Petition trial has said the Petitioner, through his witnesses, exercised the right to be heard and was heard.
She said the Second Respondent has decided not to exercise his right to respond, and in actual fact, a Petitioner, who has full confidence in his case should be happy, probably popping Champagne or drinking some tea, because respondents have decided not to adduce any evidence.
She said, however, it was curious that the Petitioner on whom the burden of proof lies wanted to Electoral Commission’s chairperson, Mrs Jean Mensa to mount the witness box in other for him to use the chairperson to prove his case but this is unheard of.
Nana Asante who was speaking at a post-trial press briefing said the Second Respondent’s application on not calling any witness was firmly grounded in law.
“Lawyers, when we go to court, decide the strategy we want to take and we as Counsel for the Second Respondent decided not to call our witness and we did feel that this is the masterstroke and has disturbed the camp of the Petitioner, hence their lengthy submissions,” she said.
The Petitioner and Respondents in Court on Tuesday, February 9, advanced their arguments, whether or not the witnesses for the Respondents have to be cross-examined by Counsel for the Petitioner.
Mr Akoto Ampaw, the Lead Counsel for President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, the Second Respondent, argued that the Petitioner had not discharged the burden of proof in the trial and that they were entitled not to adduce any evidence or call any witness.
He said they wanted to tender their witness statement as hearsay evidence, adding that “we pray our application will be upheld.”
Mr Justin Amenuvor, the Lead Counsel for the Electoral Commission said looking at the evidence and cross-examination of the Petitioner’s witnesses, they did not intend to also call any witness.
A seven-member panel presided over by Chief Justice Kwasi Anin Yeboah has set Thursday 11, 2021 to rule on the arguments.
Nana Asante said the law was in the bosom of the court and they know that by Thursday, February 11, 2021, the court may adjudge and rule in their favour.
Former President Mahama has filed a petition at the Supreme Court seeking an annulment of the Presidential election results and a re-run of the election between him and Nana Akufo-Addo who is the second respondent in the petition.
The Petition is also seeking an injunction directing the 1st Respondent, the Electoral Commission to proceed to conduct a second election between the petitioner and the 2nd respondent as candidates, as required under Articles 63 (4) and (5) of the 1992 constitution.
The trial has been adjourned to Thursday, February 11 for continuation.