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Why Supreme Court struck out 5 out of Rojo’s 32 paragraphs witness statement

Robert Joseph Mettle-Nunoo

Robert Joseph Mettle-Nunoo

The expected cross-examination of Mr Robert Joseph Mettle-Nunoo, a witness for former President John Dramani Mahama in the 2020 election petition could not come off Friday after a lengthy legal argument over the acceptability of some of the paragraphs in his witness statement.

The legal arguments by the opposing counsels in the petition culminated in a ruling in which the Supreme Court struck out five out of the 32 paragraphs contained in the witness statement of Mr Mettle-Nunoo.

In a unanimous rulingm the seven-member panel of the apex court, presided over by the Chief Justice, Justice Kwasi Anin Yeboah, held that the five paragraps were not born out of the pleadings in the petition or the evidence as required by the rules of court.

“We are ofthe opinion that paragraphs 4, 5, 6. 7. 18 ought to be struck out as they have no foundations in the pleadings or supported by the evidence and the same is hereby struck out.”

“The remaining paragraphs in the witness statements are maintained. The petition is hereby adjourned to Monday, February 8 for cross examination of Mettle-Nunoo,” Justice Anin-Yeboah read.

Witness

Mr Mettle-Nunoo, whose witness statement was filed last Thursday (February 4) was tohave been cross-examinied Friday via video conference from his residence.

However, when the case was called, counsel for the President, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo (second respondent), Mr Akoto Ampaw, raised a concern as to whether there was a judicial officer at the witness’s residence.

According to him, the concern was a major one for the second respondent.

That, he said, was to ensure that the witness was not being assisted by someone in the course of cross-examination.

Lead counsel for the petitioner, Mr Tsatsu Tsikata, did not oppose the concern raised by Mr Akoto Ampaw.

The court, subsequently, arranged for the Registrar of the Supreme Court, Mr Mathew Antiaye, to be dispatched to where Mr Mettle-Nunoo was expected to be cross-examined from.

Paragraps in contention

Mr Akoto Ampaw, in his objection to the 23 paragraphs in Mr Mettle Nunoo’s witness statement,a rgued that the said paragraphs (23 in total) were not born out of the pleadings of the petitioner.

He added that some of them paragraphs in contention were an attempt by the petitioner to correct some of the problems that arose of Dr Kpessa-Whyte’s cross-examination.

The paragraphs included 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 29 and 31.

more to follow…

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