The Member of Parliament for Builsa North constituency, James Agalga has expressed surprise at the applause and praise that was showered on Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia, the second petitioner in the on-going contestation of the 2012 elections in the Supreme Court after stepping into the dock and giving his evidence.
“Not until a witness excels in his answers during cross examination, he cannot be applauded,” he said.
According to the representative of the people of Builsa, “in litigation, there is no way a lawyer would put his witness into the box without having conference with him so that he is appraised of the questions that would be asked and the types of answers that the lawyer would expect him to give whiles in the box. And so I was not surprised when Bawumia went on and on. That is not how to access the performance of a witness”.
“In litigation, the only time you can tell whether a witness did well or not, is when he is saddled with cross examination. Because, at the cross examination stage, you have the situation where the witness’s credibility is put to the test. You have the situation where the respondent or the defendant puts his case across through the types of questions he would ask the witness”.
He added that there is another situation where the defendants/respondents (President John Dramani Mahama, Electoral commission and the National Democratic Congress) in the case can try to use cross examination as a tool to undermine the case of the witness.
The Interior Minister designate made these comments after the members of the New Patriotic Party (NPP) on whose ticket Dr. Mahamadu Bawumia stood as the vise-Presidential Candidate in the 2012 elections, hailed him for what they describe as a sterling performance in his explanations to the highest court of the land, the malpractices and irregularities which characterized the 2012 elections.
Hon. James Agalga believes what happened on day one and two of the election petition trial, was more or less practiced and later played out before the Judges and should therefore not be used as a measure of performance by the witness until after cross examination.
Hon. Agalga asserted that “we all saw how Tony Lithur was on top of his game, how he pinned Dr. Bawumia down and how Dr. Bawumia fumbled terribly”.
He further hinted that, “that was just a warm up. More is coming”.