Source: Stella Amoyaw
The Spokesperson of the 2nd Respondent in the ongoing election petition today expressed her worry over what she described as the “repeated non-compliance” of the petitioner, John Dramani Mahama to file a written address as instructed by the Supreme Court, calling it “unacceptable”.
According to Nana Adjoa Adobea Asante, the repeated failure of the petitioner to comply with the Supreme Court’s directive should not be “countenanced”.
Counsel for the petitioner, Mr Tsatsu Tsikata today failed to comply with an earlier order issued on Wednesdays January 21 to file a witness statement to enable hearing of the substantive matter.
They however, filed a motion to Stay the Proceedings of the Supreme Court until their review application of the Justices’ ruling of February 11 had been heard.
Speaking after Thursday’s court hearing, she alluded to a delay tactic being employed by counsel for the petitioner hence their disregard of the Supreme Court’s order, adding that “no case can go on in perpetuity”.
In her view, “the sanctity of the court is something that must be upheld and religiously guarded by us as lawyers, by litigant and indeed the entire citizenry of Ghana and especially when you are before of the apex court of the land.”
“It is instructive to note that an order of court cannot be halted by an application for Stay of Proceedings, nor an application for review.
“So this repeated non-compliance with the orders of the court is something that is unacceptable behaviour, even for any member of the bench or any court, this is unacceptable, much more the apex court of the land. And this should not be countenanced.
Madam Adjoa Adobea added that per the orders, the lawyers were to simultaneously file their written addresses by the close of Wednesday, February 17 and address the court on the highlights of the addresses during Thursday’s hearing.
“We feel that the petitioner who brought us to court should actually be in a hurry to file his closing address but there has been a consistent delay in this process and we do not understand why. We have filed ours,” she said in reference to their closing addresses.
Adjoa Adobea also mentioned that an order of the court cannot be halted by an application for stay of proceedings nor application for review.
She added that, the application holds no grounds since the Supreme Court had already ruled that it cannot compel Jean Mensa to testify against her will.
“The stay of proceedings which is an application to put a halt to proceedings was pending on the review but then the review had been already determined and as such there was no need for the stay of proceedings to be heard and as such the court gladly struck out this application.”
Two judges are expected to join the 7 Judges to hear another review motion seeking to set aside the court’s unanimous decision that did not allow the petitioner to reopen his case.