Cross-Examination of the First Prosecution Witness (PW1) Richard Takyi-Mensah, a teacher in the trial of Assin North Constituency Member of Parliament (MP) has been blocked by Lawyer Tsatsu Tsikata.
Mr Tsikata, Counsel for the embattled MP James Gyakye Quayson told the court to halt the trial and wait for an application they have filed at the Supreme Court seeking to quash the court’s ruling in the matter to be determined.
The NDC MP is facing five charges for allegedly misleading the Electoral Commission to clear him to contest the 2020 Parliamentary elections.
He pleaded not guilty to all five charges namely deceit of Public officer, forgery of passport or travel certificates, knowingly making a false statutory declaration, perjury, and false declaration for office.
He has pleaded not guilty to all five charges and granted GH¢100,000 bail with a surety to be justified.
Application for Certiorari
Dissatisfied with that ruling on July 12, the MP through his lawyers led by Mr Tsikata filed an application for Certiorari at the apex court to have that ruling quashed.
In court on Wednesday, July 20, when the case was called for Mr Tsikata to subject the witness to cross-examination, he asked the court to put the trial on hold until the determination of that application by the Supreme Court is determined.
“We have filed at the Supreme Court on Monday (July 18) an application for Certiorari in respect of a ruling you (court) delivered concerning the testimony of the witness,” Mr Tsikata told the court.
He said, “in that application, we requested early hearing and we wish to bring to the attention of the court that we have filed an application for Certiorari to quash your ruling in respect of the objection against the Witness Statement
According to him, “That application was filed (on Monday) after we were able to obtain the corrected copy of the ruling.
“We have requested for an early hearing of this application and we had hoped to furnish the court with that application, but we are informed by the Registrar (Supreme Court) that they are waiting for a date to be provided by the Chief Justice for the Certiorari,” he told the High Court.
Mr Tsikata contended that, in view of the significance of the application “in respect of not only this particular witness but other witnesses that are scheduled to testify, we will respectfully request that this honourable court await the determination of the Supreme Court on that application especially in order to avoid prejudice to the accused person by virtue of inadmissible testimony of a witness prejudicing a fair trial of this case as the Constitution requires for a person charged with such offence.”
DPP’s concerns on service
The Director of Public Prosecution Mrs Yvonne Atakora Obuobisa (DPP) for her part did not oppose the request.
“In view of the application filed at the Supreme Court to quash the ruling of this court, we may have to take a date for the matter to be dealt with by the Supreme Court.
However, while informing the court that, they “have not seen anything,” but only “hearing that now in court, she asked for counsel for the accused to provide more clarity on the application and service on them.
“For my understanding, he is still waiting for a date and it is not clear whether what he has filed is ready for service on us and the court. If he can provide clarity on that,” the DPP requested.
Mr Tsikata then clarified that, “the registry indicated to me that, they are yet to get a date from the Chief Justice and based on that, they cannot release copies and the process is with the Chief Justice and yet to make a determination on the process.”
He said, because of that, they are unable to release copies without a date.
Justice Yanzu after listening to the parties said even though she has not seen copies of that application yet, she will take Lawyer Tsikata’s word for it.
Consequently, the case was adjourned to October 18, 2022, after the two months legal vacation.
On July 12, an objection raised by Tsatsu Tsikata, Counsel for the accused against the tendering of a witness statement by Mr Richard Takyi-Mensah, a teacher was overruled.
The Court presided over by Justice Mary Maame Ekue Yanzuh overruled the objection on grounds that, it was presumed that the witness had knowledge as said in the witness statement.
The court said it could only be determined whether the witness had personal knowledge of the matter during cross-examination.
Source: Ghana/Kasapafmonline.com/Murtala Inusah