General News of Wednesday, 3 April 2013
A member of the National Democratic Congress (NDC) legal team, Nana Ato Dadzie has said the Supreme Court’s decision to take evidence via affidavits puts a burden on the petitioners (Nana Addo and the two other petitioners) “For now I don’t think the burden should be on the respondents (NDC), it is on the petitioners; the test has now been on them [petitioners]; they have to establish it.”
According to lawyer Dadzie, it is the petitioners [NPP] who have the burden to call witnesses, evidence and produce affidavits to support their case. “The fundamentals of law say that it is the person who makes the claim who has the burden to prove it.”
“After they call the number of witnesses and what not, NDC and their respondents will also respond equally to the number of witnesses they produce,” he added.
In a quick rebuttal, the Executive Director of the Danquah Institute, Gabby Asare Otchere-Darko said that witnesses have nothing to do with the suit. “The court said if there is a compelling reason to call a witness to give all evidence other than the party involved in the suit.”
“The court is saying if you think that you have issues with what is being presented do it with affidavits; the court made it clear it is not going to allow witnesses to delay the case,” he stated.
The Supreme Court on Tuesday set April 16 as the date to begin hearing the substantive case of the Election Petition challenging the validity of the 2012 presidential election.
The petition was filed by three leading members of the New Patriotic Party, (NPP) comprising the party’s presidential candidate for the 2012 elections, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, his running mate Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia and the party’s chairman, Jake Otanka Obetsebi-Lamptey who are claiming the election was rigged by the Electoral Commission in favor of President Mahama.