Robert Joseph Mettle-Nunoo, the third witness for John Mahama, the petitioner in the ongoing election petition case, will proceed with his testimony when the Supreme Court resumes hearing today, Monday, February 8, 2021.
Mr. Mettle-Nunoo may join the hearing via online video conferencing as was done last Friday because Mahama’s counsel had told the court that he was unwell.
Although his cross-examination was slated for last Friday, it failed to happen following objections raised by Akoto Ampaw, counsel for Nana Akufo-Addo who was seeking to have portions of Mr. Mettle-Nunoo’s witness statement expunged and counter-arguments from Tsatsu Tsikata, lead counsel for Mr. Mahama. The arguments lasted for several hours.
Akoto Ampaw wanted 23 out of the 32-paragraphed witness statement struck out, a move resisted by Mr. Tsikata.
The Justices of the apex court in a unanimous ruling ordered the removal of only five paragraphs to pave way for the cross-examination.
Mr. Mettle-Nunoo has become critical in the petition after the second witness, Dr. Michael Kpessa-Whyte, during his cross-examination, said the former minister was instructed by the Chairperson of the EC, Jean Mensa, to go and consult with Mr. Mahama over some grievances.
This led to them being absent from the National Collation Centre when the election results were declared.
Mr. Mettle-Nunoo together with Dr. Kpessa-Whyte were agents for the petitioner on Election Day and were responsible for the review and certification of the presidential election results in accordance with regulations spelt out in CI 127.
Preserving Rojo Mettle-Nunoo’s witness statement a ‘great victory’ – Ayine
John Mahama’s legal team last week expressed satisfaction with the court’s decision to maintain the bulk of the third witness’ statement, made by Robert Joseph Mettle-Nunoo, despite objections from President Nana Akufo-Addo’s counsel.
Addressing the press, one of Mahama’s spokespersons, Dr. Dominic Ayine described it as “a great victory”.
Dr. Ayine admitted that, his side was “taken aback” by the objections raised by Mr. Akoto Ampaw, but noted that the Supreme Court panel appreciated the evidence in the witness statement.
“For instance, we made it clear in our petition that the Chairperson of the Electoral Commission had acted in an unfair, arbitrary and capricious manner and the evidence of Rojo Mettle-Nunoo was meant to make it clear the extent to which the Chairperson was capricious, arbitrary and unfair [to us],” Dr. Ayine explained.
Reaction from 2nd Respondent
President Akufo-Addo’s team, however, downplayed the significance of the Supreme Court’s ruling.
Regardless of the outcome, Kojo Oppong Nkrumah, one of the President’s spokespersons, said his side was making progress gradually.
He also reiterated his side’s assertion that Mr. Mettle-Nunoo’s statement was evidence of lapses in Dr. Kpessa-Whyte’s testimony.
He said Mr. Mahama was “seeking to correct or salvage parts of that case” with Mr. Mettle-Nunoo’s statement.
“They [Mahama’s team] described it as a great victory because Dr. Kpessa-Whyte’s testimony fell flat,” Mr. Oppong Nkrumah said.