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Election Petition: Ayine reacts to paragraphs struck out from witness statement

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A member of John Mahama’s legal team, Dr Dominic Ayine, says the election petition at the Supreme Court remains unharmed despite the apex court’s ruling to strike out some five paragraphs in the third witness statement filed.

Dr Ayine, who spoke to the media after Friday’s hearing, said: “For us, those five (paragraphs) do not materially damage the case we are seeking to make by bringing Rojo Mettle-Nunoo as a witness in this matter.”

The third witness for the petitioner, Mr Mettle-Nunoo, was unable to be cross-examined virtually due to several objections raised by lead counsel for the second respondent, Akoto Ampaw on the witness statement filed by the petitioner.

According to Akoto Ampaw, some 23 paragraphs in the witness statement sought to introduce matters of authenticity through the backdoor and issues not contained in the petition filed by Mr Mahama.

As a result, he requested that the judicial panel deletes these paragraphs.

Lead counsel for the petitioner, Tsatsu Tsikata, however, said the witness statement makes reference to pleadings by the second respondent and presents issues of transparency.

The court at the end of proceedings ruled that paragraphs 4, 5, 6, 7 and 18 of the witness statement be struck out because they were not contained in the petition and did not come up during cross-examination.

But in response to the matter, Dr Ayine described the ruling as a victory for the petitioner.

“Here is the case we have only five out of the 23 [paragraphs] being struck out,” he stated.

He noted that if the objections raised by Mr Ampaw were considered, “it would have meant that we would have basically an empty witness statement that would not be supportive of our case.”

“If you watch Akoto Ampaw on his feet, he listed 23 out of 32 paragraphs to be struck out. If you take those, that leaves only paragraphs 1 to 3, those are just introductory paragraphs of who the witness is,” he added.

Although Dr Ayine was satisfied with the court’s ruling, he was insistent that the omitted paragraphs give details of whatever took place in the strongroom that sought to prove that the 2020 election was not “seamless and transparent” as touted by the EC.

“Paragraph six of the witness statement was meant to say that the system that you call seamless was in fact not seamless.

“And we think that ultimately if those were taken into account, the probative value of our witness will rise up,” he said.

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