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Full Text: Supreme Court Dismissal Of John Mahama’s Call For Case Reopening

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The Supreme Court has declined a request by the lawyers of the former president John Dramani Mahama after they filed a subpoena against the chairperson of the electoral Commission Jean Mensa.

According to the court which was headed by seven justices of the law, the appeal for the reopening of the case has been overruled and dismissed.

Election Petition Hearing

John Mahama with his Lawyers

Read Full Statement Below;

When the Petitioner, in this case, closed his case with the testimony of his third and last witness Mr. Robert Joseph Mettle-Nunoo on the 8th of February 2021, the Court, as our procedure rules on trials provide, called on the 1st Respondent to open its defence by the calling of its witness, whose witness statement had already been filed on the orders of the Court.

This witness happened to be the Chairperson of the 1st Respondent Mrs. Jean Adukwei Mensa. Counsel for the 1st Respondent told the Court that he had weighed or scrutinized the case of the Petitioner as presented by his three witnesses and in his view, the Petitioner had not provided any substantial evidence in proof of his case, for which the 1st Respondent had to mount the witness box to testify in answer.

The 1st Respondent, therefore, prayed the Court to determine the petition on the oral testimonies and data presented by the Petitioner through his witnesses and decide the main issue at stake, which is; whether or not none of the twelve (12) Presidential candidates who contested the 7th December 2020 Presidential elections did obtain more than 50% of the valid votes cast in the said elections.
The 2nd Respondent, who was declared as winner of the elections by the 1st Respondent, which declaration ignited the filing of the instant petition, associated himself with the 1st Respondent on its prayer and told the Court he also did not desire to give any testimony through his attorney as contemplated.

According to him, the Petitioner did not discharge the burden imposed on him by law to produce sufficient evidence to buttress his case, so there was no need for him to say anything in explanation. He supported 1st Respondent’s prayer that the Court should resolve the petition on Petitioner’s evidence only since the burden was on him to prove the reliefs he is seeking.

This position of the Respondents to close their case without adducing any evidence at all, which the law permits them to do, did not go down well with the Petitioner. Counsel for the Petitioner resisted this position of the respondents and prayed the Court to compel the 1st Respondent’s Chairperson specifically, to testify as 1st Respondent’s witness, since she had filed a witness statement to that effect and therefore had elected to testify. As for the 2nd Respondent, Petitioner said he was not bothered about his refusal to testify.

The Court adjourned for the parties to submit legal arguments for its determination on the matter, which they did. On the 11th of February, 2021, the Court dismissed the Petitioner’s objection to the Respondent’s decision not to testify and gave reasons in a written ruling delivered for that purpose.

One of the reasons given by the Court in dismissing the objection of the Petitioner was that this Court could not compel the 1st Respondent to call its Chairperson as its witness as Rule 3E (5) of Order 38 of the High Court Civil Procedure Rules, (C.I. 47) as amended by (C.I. 87) permits them to do so.

Immediately after the Court’s ruling on the issue, the Petitioner filed the instant application. It was filed on the same 11th February 2021 and almost around the same time that this Court delivered its ruling dismissing Petitioner’s objection to the closure of respondent’s case.

There is no doubt that the instant motion was triggered by the ruling of this Court in which the Court endorsed the Respondents’ prayer not to volunteer any evidence whatsoever. The Petitioner did not hide this feeling and expressed it lucidly under paragraphs 15, 16 and 17 of his affidavit in support of the application as follows:

“15. As a result of the ruling of the Court of Thursday, 11th February 2021, it has become necessary, I am advised and verily believe, that my counsel use the subpoena powers of the Court under Order 38 rule 10 of C.I. 47 to compel the attendance of the Chairperson of 1st Respondent to appear and testify in court.

16. At the time my counsel closed my case, the representation that had been made by each Respondent to the Court, and specifically to me, was that witnesses who had filed witness statements were going to testify. It, therefore, came as a surprise that both Counsel for Respondents announced on Monday, 8th February 2021 that this was no longer the case.

17. My Counsel is seeking leave of the Court to re-open my case to enable the subpoena referred to above to be served on Mrs. Jean Adukwei Mensa, so she can appear before the Court to testify.”

The application is headed; “MOTION ON NOTICE FOR LEAVE TO RE-OPEN CASE OF PETITIONER TO ENABLE CHAIRPERSON OF ELECTORAL COMMISSION TO TESTIFY”.

18. From all indications, the target of the Petitioner in this application is not the 2nd Respondent who has also filed a witness statement through an attorney, but the Chairperson of the 1st Respondent. The application, which is not known under our rules of procedure, has been brought under our inherent jurisdiction, as contended by counsel for the Petitioner. According to Petitioner, he is praying this Court to re-open his case, which this Court has declared closed on his own instructions, to enable him subpoena the Chairperson of the 1st Respondent to testify as a hostile or adverse witness.

The Petitioner advanced almost the same arguments he made before the Court during his objection to the closure of Respondents’ case. The Respondents have strongly opposed the application and have cited both local and foreign judicial decisions to support their arguments.

Learned Counsel for the Petitioner urged on the Court that he wanted the Chairperson of the 1st Respondent to testify as an adverse witness of the Petitioner. Counsel also made references to paragraphs 31, 32 and 33 of the affidavit in support of the application as to why he wanted the Chairperson of the 1st Respondent to testify.

The other point Petitioner’s lawyer kept urging on the Court was that the Chairperson performs an important constitutional duty and must be made to account to the people for her stewardship and to vindicate herself. The question is; how can the Chairperson of the 1st Respondent vindicate herself when she is not on trial before us? She has neither been personally sued nor arraigned before this Court on any complaint or accusation (civil or criminal) for which she has to explain or account to anybody for anything she has done or not done.

It is the Institution, the Electoral Commission, which she heads, that has been accused by Petitioner of not having performed its constitutional duty according to law. Does the Petitioner need the personal testimony of the Chairperson of the Institution sued before he could prove or establish the alleged non-performance of this constitutional duty by the 1st Respondent? We do not think so.
What indeed, baffles this Court is the intimation by Counsel for the Petitioner that he intends to call the Chairperson of the 1st Respondent as an adverse witness. Black’s Law Dictionary, Ninth Edition, edited by Bryan A. Garner, defined a ‘hostile witness’ as; ‘A witness who is biased against the examining party, who is unwilling to testify or who is identified with an adverse party….also termed, ‘adverse witness’. A hostile or adverse witness, as the definition shows and as we understand the term in practice, is, therefore, a witness who has been called by a party to testify in support of his or her case and who, whilst in the witness box under examination-in-chief, becomes hostile and gives evidence contrary to the party who called him and in support of the opponent’s case. The party, in such circumstances, can apply to the Court to treat such a witness who is already in the witness box, as a hostile or adverse witness. This would enable the party calling him to cross-examine him as if he is a witness of his opponent to solicit the truth in respect of the issue at stake. A witness who has not yet entered the witness box to testify cannot, therefore, be called an adverse or hostile witness under any circumstances.

This Court exercises its inherent jurisdiction, inter alia, to correct errors in procedure and to ensure that no miscarriage of justice is occasioned during a trial. Inherent jurisdiction, which is also referred to as the ‘inherent powers doctrine’, is the principle that allows courts to deal with diverse matters over which they have intrinsic authority. The Petitioner has not demonstrated to us, in any way that, the decision of the Respondents not to testify, which was upheld by this Court in its ruling of 11th February 2021, has occasioned him any miscarriage of justice. That decision is backed by law, particularly our rules of procedure, case law and settled practice. We demonstrated this in our ruling of 11th February 2021 when we rejected Petitioner’s objection to the Respondents’ decision not to testify.

At the time this application was filed, Petitioner had expressly closed his case, likewise the Respondents. He is therefore seeking our discretion to re-open his case and to lead further evidence, which evidence he never disclosed to the Court. He is not entitled to his prayer as of right. It is subject to our discretion and before we can exercise our discretion in his favour, he must satisfy certain basic conditions as laid down by case law.

The general expectation imposed on all litigating parties is to place the whole of their case before the Court at the time of the hearing. The process of invoking the inherent jurisdiction of the Court at the close of the cases of the parties to re-open a closed-case in order to adduce fresh or further evidence is thus, an extraordinary step, which the importance of finality of litigation frowns upon, save the presence of exceptional circumstances. In the Canadian case of OAKLEY v ROYAL BANK OF CANADA, 2013 ONSC 145 [2013] OJ No. 109 (SC), Andre, J held:

“The Court requires the parties to litigation to bring forward their whole case… In both civil and criminal matters, the Crown or plaintiff must produce and enter in its own case all clearly relevant evidence it has…
On the other hand, a trial judge has the discretion to permit a plaintiff to re-open its case. This discretion however, must be exercised judicially. It must involve a scrupulous balancing of the accountability of counsel for decisions regarding the prosecution of its case and the interests of justice”.

Though this Canadian case is not binding on us, it has a persuasive effect as it espouses the principles governing re-opening of closed cases for the purposes of adducing fresh or further evidence. Back at home, our own Benin, JSC (then Benin, J) gave a similar holding in the case of KOMBAT v LAMBIM [1989-90] I GLR 324 at p. 326 as follows: “The general rule of evidence was that after a prisoner’s case was closed, a judge should only call a fresh witness when a new matter had arisen ex improviso which could not have been foreseen. Such witness could in a civil case only be called with the consent of all the parties. And although the Evidence Decree, 1975 (NRCD 323), permitted a court to call or re-call witnesses, it was subject to the general rule”.

Though the above decision made reference to the calling or re-call of a witness by the trial court, the same principle applies where it is any of the parties who applies for such a call or re-call after the close of their cases. One of the leading cases on applications to re-open cases is the Canadian case of 671122 ONTARIO LTD. v SAGAZ INDUSTRIES CANADA INC., 2001 SCC 59, 2 SCR 983 (SCC), which was referred to us by counsel for the 2nd Respondent. In that case, the court approved of a two-stage test, which was first articulated in SCOTT v COOK [1970] OJ No. 1487, 2 OR 769 (HCJ). That test, which is intended to assist the trial judge in exercising his or her discretion to re-open a trial, requires the applicant to:

19. Show that the evidence he or she seeks to adduce is such that, if it had been presented at trial, it would probably have changed the result, and
20. Prove that such evidence could not have been obtained by reasonable diligence before the trial.”

 

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Newspaper headlines of Thursday, February 25, 2021

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Newspaper headlines of Thursday, February 25, 2021

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BREAKING: Police closes GAY office in Kwabenya | VIDEO

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The issue of LGBT has been making news in recent times after a lot of people including celebrities came out to throw their support behind those engaged in the act whiles many others also spoke against the act declared it as been demonic and should never be entertained as a country.

The recent backlash of the LGBTQ has led to people calling for the closure of the office of the LGBTQ which was created in Kwabenya in Accra.

A video making rounds on social media have shown moments when the office of the homosexuals was been closed down by police officers after been instructed by the president of Ghana His Excellency Nana AKufo-Addo.

Dr. Asenso Gyambi who is a representative of the owner of the property in which the office was situated speaking with the media revealed that the landowner was unhappy with the works that were been used for by the people who rented the place.

He said on Tuesday at about 7 pm, he received a text message from an undisclosed source that the house is being used for LGBTQ activities which made him promise to refund the money paid him so he can sack them from the house.

Watch the closure of the office below:

 

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LIVESTREAMING: Parliament vets Lands and Natural Resources Minister designate, Samuel Abu Jinapor

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Honorable Samuel Abu Jinapor, the candidate for Minister of Lands and Natural Resources, is presently before the Parliament’s Appointments Committee.

In the last four years, the candidate has worked in President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-first Addo’s term as Deputy Chief of Staff.

Mr. Jinapor was appointed a member of Parliament for the Damongo District in the 2020 elections.

It is anticipated that his review today will become a lengthy one with questions anticipated to be posed on his presidential job and other issues concerning the ministry he would lead. Illicit mining also is of concern (galamsey).

Watch the screening of the candidates below:

 

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JUST IN: KNUST Car involved In Accident 1 Dead ,Lecturer in Critical Condition

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News information coming in has revealed that there has been an accident that has claimed one life and two others including a Lecturer of the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology(KNUST) in a critical condition.

The accident was said to have taken place between Fufulso Junction and Domeabra in the Central Gonja involving a Landcruiser belonging to KNUST with registration number GV 785-14 and another car.

District Chief Executive (DCE) for Central Gonja in the Savannah Region Mustapha Mahama who confirmed the news revealed that the accident happened on Tuesday, February 23, 2021, at about 10 am.

Mr. Mustapha revealed that the car belonging to KNUST was heading to Kumasi from Tamale before the accident indicating that the second injured person is believed to be a staff of the National Accreditation Board (NAB).

Speaking to the media about the incident he stated saying;

The driver is late but the two occupants (Alex champion, Lecturer, KNUST) and Anita Andrews are in very critical condition have been sent to Tamale Teaching Hospital”

 

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God will punish gays just like in Sodom and Gomorrah- Rev. Owusu Bempah

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The Founder and Leader of Glorious Word and Power Ministry Rev. Owusu Bempah has added his voice to the current trending issue in the country with regards to the Lesbian, Gay, Bi-sexual, Transgender, Queer, Intersex (LGBTQI) community in Ghana.

According to the man of God, there is nothing morally right about it and should not be entertained in the country as it would bring nothing but doom to the country if care is not taken.

Rev. Owusu Bempah who was speaking during an interview with the host of Atinka FM’s AM Drive mentioned that homosexuality should not be encouraged because God detests it.

He further stated that anybody who engages in would face the same wrath of God which he caused on the people of Sodom and Gomorrah as stated in the bible.

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Reverend Owusu Bempah’s opinions add up to many who have expressed their discomfort with the legalization of the demonic activity from the country as they call for it not to be accepted in the country.

Many celebrities like Wanluv Kubolor, sister Derby, Ama k Abebrese have also thrown their support behind the LGBTQ as they also call for the government to respect the rights of the people who just want to explore and love whoever they want.

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Woman whose fiancé snatched the wig, engagement ring and slippers he gave her after he found her with another man in a mall speaks (Video)

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The woman in a video which went viral after  a young man took a wig and slippers she bought for her after spotting her with another man in a restaurant has finally spoken about the incident as she reveals what happened exactly.

It can be recalled that a video of a young lady who was at arestaurant known as  Jabi Lake Mall with a man whose identity is yet to be known had his fiancee who she was supposed to get married to coming over to the place were she was having a chat with the other man and taking away his wig, slippers and other stuffs he bought for the lady when they were dating including an engagement ring.

The lady who has fonally spoken has begged people to stop speculating that she was not cheating on his boyfriend with the man he was seen with as there is no iota of truth in it as speculated bynthe masses after the video made it way to social media.

According to the lady, tho her fiancé overreacted by collecting all he gave her after seeing her with another man, she cxan bodly state that they were not in a compromising position when her boyfriend came over.

She further revealed that she owuld not have met the man at a public place should there have been any form of romantic relationship existed between them.

She pleaded with Nigerians to stop giving her bad name as she begged netizens not to drive her to depression.

She added that she now understands why people commit suicide.

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