‘Is it not a practice that if a judge is speaking counsel should keep quiet?’ – CJ to Akoto Ampaw

Chief Justice Kwesi Anin-Yeboah today cautioned lead lawyer for second respondent in the ongoing election petition, Lawyer Akoto Ampaw, over interjections when members of the bench are speaking.

“Counsel, is it not a practice that if a judge is speaking counsel should keep quiet?” the CJ asked as the lawyer sought to continue a submission when the CJ was making a point. “Well noted,” the lawyer responded.

Before the caution, the CJ had told Akoto Ampaw that every paragraph in a witness statement under consideration stood on its own, to which Akoto Ampaw replied: “they are connected.”

Akoto Ampaw has been making submissions on why certain portions of the witness statement of the petitioner’s third witness, Rojo Mettle-Nunoo, needed to be struck out before cross examination continued.

Mettle-Nunoo is testifying away from the court via a video link due to a health condition. He filed his witness statement yesterday ahead of today’s sitting.

The court dispatched a judicial officer to his location after Akoto Ampaw raised the issue of possible ‘coaching’ of the witness.

John Dramani Mahama, who was the flagbearer of the NDC is disputing the election results as declared by the Chairperson of the Electoral Commission on December 9, 2020.

He has already presented two of his expected five witnesses: first Johnson Asiedu Nketia, NDC General Secretary, appeared for two days, and then Dr. Michael Kpessah-Whyte, Mettle-Nunoo’s colleague at the ‘Strongroom’, both of whom were cross-examined by the lead counsels for the 1st and 2nd Respondents.

On Wednesday, February 3, 2021, the lead counsel for the Petitioner, Tsatsu Tsikata, prayed the court to allow them to file a new witness statement.

He explained that the new witness had some health complications and due to the confidentiality of the witness’s condition, he would prefer that the court hears the reasons in camera.


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Ngamegbulam C. S

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