The lead counsel for the petitioner, Lawyer Tsatsu Tsikata had attempted to impress on the eminent justices of the Supreme Court to have the witness of the First Respondent, Jean Adukwei Mensa to testify in court with reference to some precedence and other legal provisions that would compel the latter to mount the witness box. But Justice Apau diffused his assertion is incorrect and untenable in the current circumstance.
The Justice argued that the witness has not sworn to an oath and in such matters may opt not to testify as stipulated in C.I 87 of the Court Rules. In Tsatstu Tsikata’s argument, the EC Chairperson having elected to file a witness statement can not be excused from testifying in court to her responses.
Just to cut short the cycle of repetition of the argument mounted by Tsatsu Tsikata on the affidavit and witness statement filed by Jean Mensa, Justice Apau referred the former to read Rule 3(e) subrule 1 and 5 of C. I 87 to satisfy his curiosity. He noted that any argument for which the EC Chairperson wishes to object to testifying to her witness statement which has not been tendered as evidence, cannot be a basis to compel Jean Mensa to mount the box.
“Read Rule 3(e) subrule 5. You can read subrule 1 before you go and read subrule 5 and you will appreciate the import of the rule…as set out in 47 as amended in C.I 87,” Justice Apau directed.
Tsatsu Tsikata complied and read the provisions as follows;
Subrule 1: “If a party has served a witness statement, and that party wishes to rely on the trial of the evidence of the witnesses who made the statement, that party shall call the witness to give all evidence unless the court otherwise orders or that party puts a statement in as hearsay evidence.”
Subrule 5: “If a party who has served a witness statement does not call the witness to give evidence at the trial or put the witness statement as hearsay evidence, any other party may put the witness statement as hearsay evidence.”
An unsatisfied Tsatu Tsikata told the court that it would be of great relevance to the court if he is allowed to exhaust his submission before averting to the C.I 87.
“..my Lords, I believe that if you allow me to proceed with the order of my submissions, I will explicitly address whatever concerns you have about C.I 87 and its impact because my Lords, we dealing with a situation here where in determining the issues regarding leave for serving interrogatories on the First Respondent. The fact that what was in the interrogatories could be subject of cross-examination was a critical aspect of what was urged on the court.”
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