Day 13 of the Presidential Election Petition hearings, like recent few days, turned out to be a very difficult day for Counsel for the National Democratic Congress (NDC), 3rd Respondents in the case, Tsatsu Tsikata as he faced numerous challenges from the nine member panel sitting on the Supreme Court case as well as Counsel for the petitioners on how he was conducting his cross examination of the main witness of the petitioners, Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia.
The day started with an obviously confused Counsel Tsatsu Tsikata trying to continue on the line of cross examination on “new” pink sheets which were not part of the petitioners’ case as he seemed not to have understood the ruling given by the Justices on Tuesday.
Lawyer Tsikata was quickly hustled out of that line of cross examination despite obvious misgivings by the NDC lawyer. Justice Atuguba, Presiding Judge reminded Counsel Tsikata that the court had clearly ruled on it and that the witness could not be asked questions on pink sheets he did not know about.
Later on in the trial Counsel Tsatsu Tsikata despite the clear ruling of the justices decided to introduce another new pink sheet which he suggested related to voting without biometric verification but here again, the NDC lawyer was put in order after an objection raised by Counsel for the petitioners, Philip Addison who reminded the judges that the Counsel for the 3rd Respondents was seeking to do the same thing the court had directed him not to do.
Justice Atuguba once again reminded Lawyer Tsatsu Tsikata that what he was seeking to do had already been ruled on and that he should wait and direct such questions to his witnesses when they appear. Counsel Tsatsu Tsikata tried to suggest that what he had tried to do with the earlier new pink sheet was in relation to over voting but Justice Atuguba noted that the Judges had understood that attempt to be an attempt to suggest that there were other areas where there were other irregularities and not only over voting and as such the ruling covered all such attempts.
Counsel Tsikata then sought to inquire from the witness if he thought all such polling stations where irregularities were evident on the face of the pink sheets should be annulled but the Justice Atuguba reminded him that he had already asked the question and had received a response from the witness.
At this point, Justice Atuguba not only urged Tsatsu Tsikata not to continue his repetitive questioning but also went ahead to describe the cross examination of Tsatsu Tsikata as becoming ‘desultory’, meaning lacking focus, purpose and plan.
But the biggest talking point of the day came when Tsatsu Tsikata tried to suggest that the petitioners had not been honest with their analysis.
Counsel for the Petitioners, Philip Addison quickly rose to object and called the attention of the judges to the continuous use of derogatory and unsavory words and comments by the NDC counsel. He wondered why Lawyer Tsikata could not make his arguments without resort to unsavory words.
“It’s quite surprising coming from him (Tsatsu Tsikata) talking about honesty, really. Coming from him is quite rich. He keeps playing to the gallery and we have warned that we can also use such words” Philip Addison added.
The comments of Counsel Philip Addison clearly unsettled Lawyer Tsatsu Tsikata who could only try to use the Evidence Decree to justify his use of the various words for which Counsel Addison had complained. But once again Justice Atuguba redirected him saying Counsel, “honestly I find it difficult to understand the battle you are seeking to fight”
Source: NPP Communications Directorate