The Supreme Court has adjourned hearings on the 2020 election petition to Tuesday 26 January 2021 after a mini-showdown in court on Wednesday (20 January) between Tsatsu Tsikata, lead counsel for the petitioner, and the judges on the panel.
Tsikata appeared shocked when the judges announced, among other consequential orders, that witness statements should be filed by Thursday, arguing that members of the NDC’s legal team are not “superhumans” to meet such timelines.
However, the bench said the court is working to a strict timetable and that, being a senior lawyer, he should have been ready to present his documents. Tsikata in turn argued that the timeline for his team to file their witness statements is too short and “unjustified”.
The petitioner’s lawyer argued there are many issues outstanding which the court must settle. They include seeking for a review of the court’s earlier ruling regarding the refusal of their 12 interrogatories on Tuesday.
“Justice must not be sacrificed for expedition,” Tsikata told the court during the discussion of case management. However, the court dismissed his objections and adjourned for full trial, starting on Tuesday 26 January 2021.
Application for review
The petitioner has filed an application for review of the Supreme Court’s ruling regarding the refusal of the Mahama team’s 12 interrogatories on Tuesday.
In a unanimous decision, the court dismissed a motion from the petitioner calling on the Electoral Commission to respond to certain questions the legal team believes will help narrow down the issues set out in the petition.
The court ruled that the petitioner’s application for interlocutories was not grounded in law.
The judges said that the application contravened the rules governing adjudication of the election petition, which is the main matter before the court.
“The application is hereby dismissed,” the Chief Justice ruled on Tuesday.