A legal practitioner, Samson Lardy Ayenini has expressed surprise at the decision by judges at the Supreme Court to overrule an objection by respondents in the election petition on fresh documents tended in by the petitioners.
Dr Mahamudu Bawumia, a petitioner in the case, before he was cross examined admitted to referring to documents which tabled all the polling stations that the petitioners have deleted from their claims of over voting.
Lead counsel for the third respondent, Tsatsu Tsikata had baited the witness to tender those documents, and immediately that was done he raised an objection and asked the court not to allow that. This was supported by counsel for the other respondents.
According to the lead counsel for the first respondent, Mr Tony Lithur, the witness cannot amend his claims in the witness box.
But lead counsel for the petitioners, Philip Addison explained that the petitioners were not “amending,” but “what we are seeing to do is to abandon part of the evidence.”
So controversial was this point that the judges had to take a break to consider a ruling. And just like yesterday, the respondents again lost as the judges overruled their objection.
President of the panel, Justice Atuguba explained that the respondents’ “objection is belated; it is therefore accordingly overruled”.
But in his analysis of the ruling, lawyer Samson Lardy Ayenini told Joy FM’s Top Story on Thursday he was shocked by the decision.
“I was surprised at the outcome that they were overruled,” he stated.
Though he admitted, like many, he was learning a lot from the hearing, he suggested that the claim that the objection was belated leaves a lot to be desired.
He explained that since the petitioners had not tended in the document, legally, the respondents cannot object to the document. He said this informed the lead counsel for the NDC Tsatsu Tsikata to bait the key witness to tender the document to pave way for the objection.
Mr Samson Ayenini said had the court upheld the objection, the petitioners would have gone back to amend their petition to “cure the challenge that the update documents pose to them”.