Justice Atuguba averts Tsatsu, Bawumia ‘fight’

The presiding judge in hearing on the petition challenging results of the 2012 Presidential Polls, Justice William Atuguba, had to timely intervene during Tuesday’s proceedings after lead counsel for the National Democratic Congress (NDC) and witness-in-chief of the petitioners were nearly embroiled in exchange of words.

“This is not a free fight,” Justice William Atuguba intervened.

Tsatsu Tsikata had accused Dr Mahamudu Bawumia of being dishonest to the court by submitting inaccurate pink sheets to the Supreme Court.

In a riposte to Mr Tsikata, Dr Bawumia said NDC’s lead counsel was afraid of the truth and that can only be the reason why he is accusing him of being dishonest.

This drew in the presiding judge, who stated that counsel had a right, within the confines of the law, to label anyone in the witness box but it is wrong for a witness to cross-label counsel.

“My lord, with the greatest respect we must not take this likely. This witness is saying I am afraid of the truth,” Mr Tsikata complained.

This provoked the petitioners’ lead counsel, Phillip Addison, who said counsel on the other side got what he wanted because he had accused the witness several times of being dishonest.

“Don’t fight the battle beyond these confines,” Justice Atuguba advised Mr Tsikata and Dr Bawumia.

“Just limit yourselves through the extent of the fashion.”

Calm was restored for cross-examination to continue.

Meanwhile, an application filed by Mr Tsikata on Monday to cross-examine some of the petitioners’ witnesses who swore affidavit  in their evidence, has been deferred to Thursday, May 16, 2013.

Announcing the deferment date, Justice Atuguba indicated that counsel for the first and second respondents have also filed similar writs and it was appropriate for ruling to be given on a single day.