Former Deputy Minister for Health, Robert Joseph Mettle-Nunoo, the third witness of the petitioner in the ongoing election petition at the Supreme Court, has indicated that the Electoral Commission Chair deceived him and his colleague Dr Michael Kpessa-Whyte before declarion the electoral results.
In his witness statement to the apex court, ROJO, as he also known, explained that in an interaction with Jean Mensa, the EC Boss who is also the Returning Officer of the presidential elections, made him aware the concerns he had raised in the strong room as a representative of the NDC will be looked into.
“At the point when I first went to the office of the Chairperson of the Electoral Commission on 8 December 2020, I wanted to bring to her attention that what was going on in the ‘Strongroom’ could not lead to a declaration.
“She [Jean Mensa] actually told me in response that the concerns I had raised were genuine and she would have them looked into,” Mettle-Nunoo said in paragraph 13 of his witness statement.
It will be recalled that Rojo and Kpessa-Whyte had earlier disclosed they were sent by Mrs Mensa to see former president John Mahama on an issue they had raised on December 9 before the declaration of the presidential elections.
In his witness statement to the Supreme Court, Mr Mettle-Nunoo corroborated Dr Kpessa-Whyte’s testimony to the court.
Mr Mettle-Nunoo said: “Mrs Jean Mensa informed me that there had been a meeting held earlier in the day between the petitioner and the peace council, something I was unaware of at the time”.
“After I further drew her attention to some of the issues that were coming up in the interactions in the strong room, she said very directly that we should go and speak to the petitioner”.
“Having regard to her earlier reference to the meeting between the peace council and the petitioner, which she had obviously been briefed about, I took seriously, what she said”.
“I did not think that we, who were acting as agents of the petitioner, should be seen as taking positions which may be contrary to what the petitioner himself had conveyed in a meeting that I was unaware of with a body such as the peace council, which, I know has an important role in resolving disputes in connection with elections and calming tensions in the country. She indicated her own willingness to meet with the petitioner”, he wrote in the 32-point statement.
He continued: “I was also struck by the fact that she proposed that she would send a dispatch rider to help us get back to the headquarters of the EC ahead on time for her own exercise of her responsibilities. There was nothing in the discussion which could have given me any reason for doubting the word of the Chairperson of the EC. Indeed, having worked with her previously when I was a consultant to the IEA, I had no reason not to trust her. I took her at her word and I must say I was really shocked to realise how she had proceeded to make a declaration of results at a time when she knew that my colleague and I have left the premises at her instance. I can still remember her saying that she would even send a dispatch rider to hasten our return to the EC headquarters after our consultations with the petitioner”.
“Yet, my colleague and I realised with shock, when on our reaching the residence of the petitioner that the EC Chairperson was in the process of announcing the results. The petitioner naturally asked how this was possible when the same person had sent us with a message for him”.
“Attempts I made to reach the Chairperson of the EC by phone for clarification proved futile as she had turned off her phone. Clearly, the EC Chairperson had not been transparent and truthful and had taken advantage of the absence of the two representatives of the petitioner to make a premature and unconstitutional declaration. She acted with extreme bad faith, unfairly, unreasonably, and with no regard to due process”.
“I can still not believe she did what she did in the light of my experience over the years with elections in this country”.
“I have known that a declaration has to be transparent and the results must be justified by facts, figures and a transparent tally and collation of results. Clear errors, as have been admitted by the EC in this election, undermine the credibility of the whole and also casts grave doubts on the integrity of those assigned responsibilities for the free, fair and transparent conduct of elections. It is impossible to sweep these matters under the carpet”, he added.