Mahama’s motion to reopen case thrown out by Supreme Court
On Tuesday, the Supreme Court denied John Dramani Mahama’s appeal to reopen his case at the hearing of the election petition, handing the former President a significant blow in his attempt to reverse the results of the elections of 7 December.
By majority ruling, the court declared that, inter alia, the plaintiff had not given adequate proof or an inkling of it to persuade the court to reopen the case.
On Tuesday, 16 February 2021, the Supreme Court ruled on the back of an appeal submitted by the lead lawyer for the plaintiff, Tsatsu Tsikata, seeking permission to reopen his lawsuit.
Chief Justice Kwasi Anin-Yeboah, who read the decision, said that even at the time the application was filed, the plaintiff and the respondents had both closed their proceedings.
He also argued that the plaintiff was not entitled, as a matter of law, to an order of that sort, a point put out by counsel Tsatsu Tsikata on Monday, 15 February.
“The discretion is, however, one that should be exercised in compliance with the law and with caution as a motion to reopen inevitably entails balancing the duty of counsel for actions affecting the proceedings of this case and the interests of justice.
“We also recognized the confidential nature of the re-opening litigation in order to allow for new testimony to be presented or to be requested, and the Court will usually consider three broad issues. If the testimony was presented during the appeal, might it have had any impact on the outcome? [The second question is] should proof have been gathered prior to the start of the proceedings by the exercise of due diligence? ”
On Monday, February 2021, counsel for the complainant argued that the 7-member tribunal should approve his motion for a re-opening of the court, Mr. Tsikata alleged that the chairman of the First Respondent, Jean Adukwei Mensa, will have been summoned to testify as a hostile witness.
That said Chief Justice Anin-Yeboah, the bench did not find any merit because the petitioner did not mention “the sort of urgency he intends to solicit from the said witness and how that evidence is going to help the Court in resolving the dispute before us.”