*2020 Election Petition Is a Mistrial*
*-Nana Frema Busia*
February 23, 2021
Ahead of March 4th, when the Supreme Court will give judgment in the 2020 election petition, a daughter of former Prime Minister K.A. Busia has opined that the Supreme Court has essentially engaged in a mistrial.
The Court’s refusal to compel Electoral Commission Chairperson, Jean Adukwei Mensa, to testify, according to Nana Frema Busia, makes the whole process aimless and wastes an opportunity to have the EC boss be accountable to the Ghanaian people.
“How can we have RESPONDENTS whose responses are not in evidence and thereby intentionally frustrate the entire purpose of the petition which is, or ought to be, Yes, an impartial Review to elicit Truth,” she asks in an opinion piece.
Going forward, she suggests that the country does not allow itself to walk down the current route again, advocating for laws that will compel EC Chairpersons to give evidence in election petitions in the future.
“Regardless of whatever decision the Supreme Court arrives at, at the end of this seemingly flawed process, for the sake of TRUTH which is not a ruse, a changed law and procedural rules are required to make it MANDATORY for the EC’s Returning Officer to Testify in future proceedings on a Special Circumstance Exception.”
The piece comes on the heels of the Supreme Court, once more, unanimously dismissing another application by former President Mahama. The application was to have the court review its decision to disallow Jean Mensa from being compelled to give evidence.
But following a pattern of rulings, the court unanimously dismissed the application, essentially letting Jean Mensa off the hook.
According to Ms Frema Busia, the court’s position takes the essence out of the whole petition because all the necessary evidence are within the bosom of Jean Mensa.
She argues against the reasoning that the petitioner ought to provide his own results proving he won the election on account of the weighing direction of the burden proof, saying the results that the NDC has is not the official results and that those official results are the ones with Jean Mensa.
“You see, Fellow Ghanaians, The Comprehensive Official election record is in the sole custody of the EC who compiled it. If that record were so marred or tainted as to have errors on its face which amount to it fallen short of the established legal 50 %+1 or constitutional mandate, why should a Petitioner not adopt the official record which is the best evidence for purposes of adjudication?” Ms Busia stated.
“Thus, where the AGENCY that is the subject of the PLEA, in this case, the EC, which is the only repository of the entire election knowledge-base in her secure official bosom, is not duty-bound or accountable, but folds her hands and stares in thin air, as a disinterested OBSERVER and does not care to participate in an essential fact-finding mission, a HEARING has effectively not occurred.”
She questions, “Why is the EC allowed to “have her cake and eat it too”, by claiming debatable adversarial advantages so as not to testify while denying the Petitioner reciprocal adversarial rights at law, through which its proof burden may be discharged and assertions firmly established or NOT as will be abundantly made clear in a fair uninhibited process.”
Ms Frema Busia writes that the EC Chairperson’s actions make her look like she is hiding something, that she is afraid that she will be found out if she mounts the witness box.
The write-up is published on ModernGhana.com under the heading, “The discussion continues …. Nana Frema Busia: Election Petition 2020 In Focus
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