The Supreme Court has served notice it won’t hesitate to exercise its power to dismiss the petitioner’s case should he continue to disregard its orders going forward.
The court on Tuesday expressed its displeasure in the failure of the petitioner to file his witness statements as directed last week.
Lawyers of the first respondent, Electoral Commission (EC), and the second respondent, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, in the Election 2020 petition filed their witness statements as directed by the seven-member Supreme Court Panel during its sitting on Wednesday, the 20th of January 2021.
The petitioner who was however directed to file the same for his suggested five (5) witnesses by noon on the 21st of January 2021 did not file.
The lawyers rather filed an application seeking to stay proceedings at the Supreme Court until his application for review of the Supreme Court’s decision on an earlier application for interrogatories has been heard.
He further filed a new application yesterday before the apex court asking for him to be allowed to amend his petition.
The court was expected to hear a motion by the legal team of former President Mahama which seeks to halt the hearing of the petition.
However, the court was not ready to hear the justification by the petitioner for failing to file his witness statement as directed.
In presenting the reasons for their failure to file, lawyer Tony Lithur, one of the lawyers for the petitioner said they did not file. They had applied for a stay of execution because they thought that the outcome of the review could affect the case.
He went on further to state that unless the court had already predetermined the application for review, then it would be proper for them to hear the application for review before the case continues.
The court was disappointed in the statements following which he withdrew.
The panel told him they could have filed and if their request for review is granted, they would have the opportunity to file supplementary statements if any to support their case.
The court then ordered them to file their witness statement by tomorrow Wednesday, January 27, 2021, or they would be forced to strike out the petition as the law requires.
The seven-member panel chaired by the Chief Justice Justice Anin-Yeboah said the law requires them to strike out the case where the parties have failed to comply with the orders of the court.
He stressed the court would also impose a cost on the petitioner if they fail to follow the directive, adding the court will not compromise on the rules guiding the ongoing trial.
“The petitioner is again directed to file his witness statements on the matters raised in his petition and other pleadings and his response to the preliminary objections by close of the day Wednesday, January 27, 2021, failing which this court will proceed to invoke the citings imposed on this court by the rules of court.”
The case was then adjourned to Thursday, January 28, 2021.