A former Justice of the Court of Appeal, Justice Kwaku Gyan, has slammed the Supreme Court for preventing the chairperson of the Electoral Commission, Jean Mensa, from testifying during the 2020 presidential Election Petition.
The quest by the petitioners –former President John Dramani Mahama and the opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC)– to have the EC chair subpoenaed into the witness box was unsuccessful as the Supreme Court in a unanimous decision ruled that the Chairperson and Peter Mac Manu could not be forced to testify in the Election Petition case.
John Mahama and the NDC had insisted that the governing New Patriotic Party did not win the 2020 election. They were also not happy with the different election results declared by the electoral management body and demanded accountability. But their efforts were futile.
Speaking at a public lecture themed “Protecting Our Democracy: The Role of the Judiciary,” Justice Kwaku Gyan highlighted the key role the judiciary plays in good governance which he said is critical to every democracy.
He described the Apex Court’s decision as shameful underscoring that the ruling prevented the EC from being accountable to the people.
“Article 125 (1) emphasizes that ‘justice emanates from the people and shall be administered in the name of the Republic by the judiciary which shall be independent and subject only to the constitution.’ The import of these stipulations is to underscore the fact that the judiciary and hence judges of our courts are accountable to the people as their servants and not as their masters in the quest to achieve and advance the vision of democratic government and the objective and tangible fruit of democracy in our land.”
“Additionally and more importantly, the judiciary has the bonding duty to hold all other powers, entities, and agencies of the state accountable and ensure transparency in their actions or deeds and in this respect, I felt very agonized when the Supreme Court in the 2020 election petition decided to shield the Electoral Commissioner from giving evidence. The Supreme Court in that trial was a constitutional court not just any court…adversarial court and the Electoral Commission was the Returning Officer.”