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Lawyer Ato Dadzie hails "landmark ruling" by the Supreme Court
From: Ghana|Myjoyonline.com|Edwin Appiah          Published On: May 7, 2013, 13:11 GMT
 
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Audio Attachment: Listen to excerpts of Ato Dadzie's submission
 


     
 




Lawyer Ato Dadzie hails

Counsel for NDC, Nana Ato Dadzie


Lawyer for the National Democratic Congress (NDC), Nana Ato Dadzie has hailed a ruling by the Supreme Court to allow Tsatsu Tsikata to introduce pink sheets categorised as outside the evidence of the petitioners.

The ruling came after a long pause by the panel of judges to consider objections raised by lawyer for petitioners, Philip Addison.

Counsel for petitioners had accused Tsatsu Tsikata, lawyer for the National Democratic Congress (NDC) for starting “an entirely new case” within the hearing of the election petition.

Lawyer Addison gave two reasons for his objections.

He argued that Tsikata’s attempt to prove over-voting in any polling station was a new pleading because the respondents have always insisted that “there was no over-voting”. "We are the petitioners. This is not their case. Are they now co-petitioners?", he queried.

Secondly, the pink sheet named M/A Primary School Asokwa which was being used by Tsatsu Tsikata was outside the 11,842 pink sheets tendered in evidence by the petitioners. This sheet was therefore “not in contention”.

Lawyer Addison said Dr. Bawumia could not identify and answer questions on the pink sheet because he did not use it in his evidence. The attempt by lawyer Tsikata to use it he said “was in violation of the rules set by this court”.

“He has no knowledge of these pink sheets. We have come to this court on a particular number of pink sheets. Anything outside he does not know. We are not here because of those”, he intoned.

Addison further accused Tsikata of “springing up surprises” through his cross-examination.

If indeed counsel wanted to use these pink sheets “it was incumbent on them to serve notice of these long before we started trial”, along with their further and better particulars.

He concluded that the effect of Tsatsu's continued use of this pink sheet was to “open the floodgates” for any document to be used in court.

In his submission, Tsatsu accused counsel for petitioners of exhibiting bad faith.

He argued that the petitioners were asking for annulment of votes in certain constituencies but they were not open to annulment of over-voting in polling stations identified by the respondents.

"Why should counsel raise an objection to his [Dr. Bawumia] identifying a document he admits is a pink sheet?, he quizzed.

He said Addison’s objection was disrespectful of the courts earlier ruling. That ruling asked Dr. Bawumia to identify pink sheets shown to him by the respondents.

The Supreme Court took a long pause to consider submissions by both counsel. The Supreme Court returned to overrule lawyer Addison’s objection and brought proceedings to an end.

Lawyer Ato Dadzie has hailed the judgement as “a landmark ruling”.

He said the ruling now meant that NDC could now forage into the votes of the strongholds of the New Patriotic Party (NPP).

He said incursions by respondents into opposition areas will prove over-voting. They would also call for annulment in their strongholds.

“Now let us open every pink sheet”, he said in a rallied call.



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