Mahama’s interrogatories not meant to delay hearing – Dr Ayine

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A member of John Mahama’s legal team, Dr Dominic Ayine has dismissed claims that its questions presented for the Electoral Commission (EC) to answer in court was just to extend the time within which the case should be heard.

Mr Mahama and his lawyers filed 12 interrogatories seeking that the Electoral Commission to provides answers on the day of the second hearing on Tuesday in respect to the outcome of the December elections.

Director of Communications for the NPP, Yaw Buabeng Asamoa had claimed John Mahama and his lawyers are only interested in extending the time for the court hearing stipulated in CI 99.

According to him, “we believe the NDC is not ready to proceed with the petition that they themselves have brought, and in particular, they are not ready to use the timelines that have been set out by the CI 99.”

But speaking on JoyNews’ PM: Express Tuesday, Dr Ayine said the move was only to narrow the trial’s scope and not delay it as the Akufo-Addo’s legal team may be speculating.

“That is really paradoxical because the process that was used today, that is the application for interrogatories is designed to expedite, rather than delay trials.”

He said the process was designed to elicit as much information as possible from the first respondent with a view to narrow down the issues that will be sent to trial by the court ahead of the case management conference between the court and both parties.

“The process of an interrogatory is part of a broader process of discovery of documents, information, etc,” the member of the legal team said.

“So our intention actually in bringing the application for the interrogatories was to elicit answers that will narrow down the issues for the trial for the court,” he stressed.

The Supreme court, out of the 42-days’ timeline had exhausted 20-days already without headways to bringing the matter to a closure hence the speculation of intentional delay on the path of the NDC.

“It was never our intention, we did this in good faith and we believed in the mechanisms established by law and practice under the high court civic procedure rule which supplemented up till this point,” Dr Ayine told Evans Mensah on Pm: Express.     

The member of the legal team also indicated that he is surprised at the Supreme Court’s ruling, which dismissed the motion by the former President, John Mahama to seek permission to elicit answers to the 12 interrogatories from the Electoral Commission.

“Surprisingly, the ruling of today basically opt ends any attempts to fill in the gaps in the Supreme court rules that are CI 16 as amended by CI 99 but we sort to CI 47.”

Lead Counsel, Tsatsu Tsikata had argued that the interrogatories are critical as it would help the apex court determine the authenticity of the results that saw the NPP presidential candidate, emerging as the winner of the 2020 polls.

However, giving its verdict on the motion, the Supreme Court held the view that Lawyer Tsatsu was relying on CI 47 while the current rule in force relating to the Supreme Court is the CI 99. – myjoyonline

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