2020 Election petition: Supreme Court throws out Mahama’s review application to reopen case

The Supreme Court of Ghana has dismissed a third review application filed by former President John Mahama, the petitioner in the ongoing election petition, which prayed the court to overturn its own ruling of 16 February 2021, in which it denied Mr Mahama the opportunity to reopen his case.

Prior to the ruling on Monday, 22 February 2021, Mr Tsatsu Tsikata, the lead counsel for Mr Mahama, had argued that the court “prejudiced” its “fair exercise of discretion” in denying his client the opportunity to reopen his case in the earlier ruling.

The ordinary court, on Tuesday, 16 February 2021, ruled unanimously that "a mere filing of a witness statement is not an election to testify".

Chief Justice Anin Yeboah read: "As we’ve already indicated in this ruling supra, the petitioner in this application has not given us an inkling of the new or fresh evidence he wants to bring to the fore through the Chairperson of the first respondent and how that evidence could assist the court to do justice to the matters under consideration in this petition. Neither has he disclosed how that evidence will advance the cause of his petition.

“For the above-stated reasons, we find no merit or favour in the petitioner’s application to reopen his case for the sole purpose of compelling his adversaries’ intended witness to testify through a subpoena without indicating the sort of evidence he intends to solicit from the said witness and how that evidence is going to help the court in resolving the dispute before us. We accordingly refuse the application and proceed without any hesitation to dismiss it", the ruling said.

However, Mr Mahama, in his review application filed by his lawyers, said the court committed errors in law in its ruling.