Jean Adukwei Mensah is Chair of the Electoral Commission
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A retired judge of the Appeals Court, Justice Kwaku Gyan, has described the Supreme Court’s refusal to make the Chairperson of the Electoral Commission, Jean Adukwei Mensa, mount the witness box in the 2020 election petition as an affront to Ghana’s democracy.

Justice Gyan says it was unconstitutional for the apex court to disallow the petitioners’ — former President John Dramani Mahama and the opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC)– quest to get Madam Mensa testify during the hearing.

The Supreme Court in a unanimous decision ruled that the Chairperson and Peter Mac Manu, the Director of Elections for the New Patriotic Party (NPP) could not be forced to testify in the Election Petition case.

The NDC had said the election was rigged in favour of the NDC and disagreed with the EC Chair having to declare three different results for the presidential poll which they went to the Supreme Court to seek clarifications. But the court prevented the Madam Mensa from testifying when she was subpoenaed.

Speaking at the Solidaire Ghana and the University of Ghana’s public lecture on the theme: ‘Protecting Our Democracy: The Role of the Judiciary’, Tuesday, October 24, 2023, the former justice underscored the critical role of the judiciary in a democracy, indicating the decision to prevent the EC chair from testifying was a means of denying the public accountability from the EC.

“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,” he stated.