The seven-member panel of the Supreme Court, hearing the 2020 presidential election petition yesterday told the lead counsel for the 2nd Respondent, Akoto Ampaw, to credit the Bench with the knowledge of the law.
The admonishing followed the argument of counsel, which sought to address some prepositions of law, other than why the petitioner’s application to re-open his case be dismissed.
In his argument in opposition to application by the petitioner to re-open his case, Mr Akoto Ampaw told the court that in the view of the 2nd respondent, the petitioner had not the threshold of burden of proof and that of producing evidence as the law demands.
However, before he could move to the next sentence, the court interjected and asked if counsel was not arguing on something the bench should know.
The Chief Justice then told Mr Akoto Ampaw, who had explained that he was laying foundation for his specific argument that “these are general prepositions of law. Credit us with that knowledge of the law.”
Mr Akoto Ampaw, in making what he described as a preliminary observation said that the system of litigation was adversarial and not inquisitorial.
According to him, in that system of litigation, the question of burden of proof and the burden of producing evidence is fundamental, adding that “It is one of substantive law.”
Against the above background, he argued that a party that bears the burden of proof and the burden of producing evidence must effectively meet that.
He continued that: “My Lords, it is well established that where the party bearing the burden of proof and burden of producing evidence fails to meet those two burdens, the court has every right to dismiss the party’s plea,because the party’s reliefs can only be obtained if he leads evidence that meets these two burdens.
“And it’s our submission my Lords, that till date the petitioner in my respective view has failed woefully (court interjects that he was making a general prepositions). No, no, no, my lords, I am setting a foundation for my specific argument.”
Mr Akoto Ampaw continued his argument by quoting authorities to drum home the need for the application of the petitioner to be jettisoned.
On the other hand, the lead counsel for the 1st respondent had also opposed the application, and prayed the court not to grant it.
His argument followed that of TsatsuTsikata, counsel for the petitioner, who mounted an argument that the 2nd respondent would be treated as a hostile witness to answer some questions.
The court set today, Tuesday, February 15, 2021 to give its ruling on the application