In the end, it became the cross-examination that never was. It had been billed to be the climax of the 2020 election petition.
Sammy Gyamfi, the National Communications Officer had labelled it as the El Classico with Abraham Amaliba, a member of the legal team of the NDC requesting a national holiday for the day Jean Mensa, the chairperson of the Electoral Commission, was going to mount the witness box.
But owing to a masterstroke of a legal move by the counsel for the EC and failed attempts by counsel for the petitioner to have her subpoenaed, the much-anticipated legal match between the venerable Tsatsu Tsikata and Jean Mensa was never played.
Judgement has been passed and Jean Mensa is back at post discharging her duties as EC chair.
She is, however, not out of the woods yet if some comments by Tsatsu Tsikata are anything to go by.
Tsatsu who appeared ‘in the box’ on the KSM show was asked to enumerate the questions he intended to ask Jean Mensa during cross-examination.
Tsatsu declined to give out his questions, explaining that there is a window in the judgement that allows the petitioner to have Jean Mensa mount the witness box.
He explained that a case of unfair treatment can be filed at a High Court and the EC chair will be compelled to enter the box for cross-examination.
“I’m not going to tell you all the things I would ask her in the box because there can still be an opportunity for her to enter the box. According to [a] decision by the judges, there are still some issues that can be raised in a High Court case. There were issues about Article 23 of the constitution which is the duty for her to act fairly which is a duty the Constitution imposes on all officials in any administrative capacity.
“When we put across the fact that she had not acted fairly, what the court said is that, that is a matter that has to be taken to the High Court so if anyone decides to take the matter to the High Court, I guess she will still have to mount the box.”
Tsatsu Tsikata who was Mahama’s lead counsel in the petition also expressed disagreement with some aspects of the ruling.
“The court tried to set aside the evidence of two of the witnesses that were presented by John Mahama, namely Dr Michael Kpessah-Whyte and Robert Joseph [Rojo] Mettle-Nunoo. There was a description of that evidence as ‘fanciful tales’ which is quite extraordinary because the witnesses gave a completely truthful compelling account of the situation in the Electoral Commission premises on the day that the declaration was supposed to be made,” Tsikata said.
Tsikata noted that “Mr Mettle-Nunoo particularly gave a very vivid account of the interactions that he had with her [Chairperson of EC] and based on that interactions, he and Dr Kpasa-Whyte had to go on assignment; to go and brief their candidate based on what they were told by the chairperson. By the time they go to the candidate, she was already making a declaration”.