Former President John Mahama’s third witness in the ongoing election petition, Mr Robert Joseph Mettle-Nunoo (Rojo), has said officials of the Electoral Commission served him tea without biscuit as he waited his turn to meet Chairperson Jean Mensa to complain to her about certain qualms the National Democratic Congress (NDC) had with the collation of figures for the presidential election after the 7 December 2020 polls.
I was given tea but without biscuit”, the former deputy minister of health told the court on Monday, 8 February 2021 as he was being cross-examined by the counsel for the election management body, Mr Justine Amenuvor, who had put it to former President John Mahama’s third witness that he was served tea and biscuit as he sought audience with the EC boss.
Mr Mettle- Nunoo also told the court that he was sacked by the EC from its Strong Room on the 9th of December 2020.
“The first time I left the strong room when the EC sacked me from the Strong Room”.
“That was the first time I left the room. The EC sacked me from the Strong Room”, he insisted, adding: “It has never happened before”.
In previous elections, he noted, “I stayed there for 72 hours”.
He reiterated: “In the early hours of the 9th, I was sacked from the EC Strong Room and I had to drive from Accra, all the way to Community 25, where I reside. This was around 2 am of the 9th. I then had to wake up very early and go through another two hours of traffic on that […] corridor, back to the EC office”.
I left the strong room the second time to seek audience with the Electoral Commissioner. It was somewhere between 3 O’clock and 4 O’clock”, he mentioned.
According to him, “…As required by law, the Returning Officer, was also supposed to be an independent returning officer: to be fair, transparent and determine an election with integrity. So, under those three principles, I was asked to go into the strong room to defend his interest to the best of my abilities”.
“In the case of the NPP, you had Mac Manu, John Boadu and so many other people in the Strong Room, even though two people were supposed to have been in the strong room at a time. Why is it that they were permitted to be in the room?” he wondered.
He also denied threats that he had told untruths to the court. “That is absolutely untrue”, he said, adding: “I swore an oath to tell the truth and I told the court nothing but the truth”.
The longest-serving representative of any political party at the Strong Room also noted that he had, in the past, been sent by EC Chairs to his presidential candidate.
It is not the first time. In my engagement with previous returning officers of the presidential polls, I have had occasion, to leave the Strong Room to go and speak to the person I was representing in the strong room and then I return with the understanding that I had been sent to do so and in this particular instance, I had also been sent to do so.”
“So, you want the court to believe that various chairpersons of the EC send you and you obey. Is that the position?” Mr Justin Amenuvor, counsel for the EC asked.
“As and when it was necessary to do so in order to resolve the issues”, Mr Mettle-Nunoo sai