The presence of Chairman of the Electoral Commission (EC) caused a stir in court Thursday as counsel for the petitioners Philip Addison rose to object to him giving testimony without a sworn affidavit.
Dr. Afari-Gyan was in court today as a witness of the second respondent, EC.
The EC is a party to the Presidential Election Petition case that is challenging the 2012 election results that declared President Mahama as winner.
But even before he could swear an oath, he faced objection from the counsel for the Petitioners, Philip Addison.
Addison reminded the court of a directive given on 2nd April to the effect that parties must swear an affidavit to be allowed to testify.
He said for the Electoral Commission, it was filed and sworn by Amadu Sulley, Deputy Chair of the Commission.
The petitioners’ lawyer added that without an affidavit, his team would not “know the ambit of his evidence-in-chief”.
He said he needed direction from the court as to why Afari-Gyan was testifying instead of Amadu Sulley.
Quarshie-Idun, counsel for second respondent said two officials of the party swore an affidavit. They were Deputy Chairman of the Electoral Commission (EC) Amadu Sulley and Mr Kwadwo Safo Kantanka who swore an affidavit in the preliminary stages.
He added that both affidavits could be considered as witnesses of the party, but Dr. Afari-Gyan was “the party himself”.
Addison countered that Kantanka only swore an interlocutory application. Amadu Sulley had also been present in court since the beginning of the trial.
Naturally, he said, the petitioners presumed Amadu Sulley would be giving testimony.
After a brief consideration of the merit of arguments by both counsels, presiding judge William Atuguba announced the panel’s decision.
He said: “Afari-Gyan was representing the EC as a party to this case and returning officer of 2012 elections of Ghana. He can therefore pursuant to the directive given on this case on 2nd April give oral evidence on behalf of the respondent”.