Feature Article of Monday, 7 January 2013
Columnist: Genfi, Brogya
*NPP PETITION THROWN OUT OF “COURT” – PART ONE (I)*
January 4, 2013
Following the declaration of His Excellency John Dramani Mahama as President elect of the Republic of Ghana by the Independent Electoral Commission (EC), the largest opposition led by its Leader has filed a petition at the Supreme Court to challenge the Presidential Election.
Even though the case is yet to be heard in Court, the NPP organized a Press Conference last week aimed at influencing the Ghanaian Public on the same matter but as usual their media analysis had a twist.
As they presented what they call* “evidence”* to the Public via this Press Conference, and their “*Evidence*” Statement being read by Dr Mahamudu Bawumiah, the Ghanaian Public took notes for critical analysis.
But observing commentaries in the media on the NPP press conference, the “Court of Public Opinion” (CPO) appears to have thrown out the petition of the NPP.
In summary, the case was thrown out by this “CPO” on the following *five (5) *grounds:
*1. **NPP LACKS CREDIBILITY*
- Nana Akufo-Addo (Rtd.) claimed the NPP got to know of the serious irregularities in the elections in the afternoon of 8th December 2012 but in the evening of that same day 8th December, his General Secretary called on their supporters to wear white cloth to church on 9thDecember because the NPP had won with 51.30%.
This is what Nana Akufo-Addo (Rtd.) said at the press conference: *“By the afternoon of December 8th, enough reports had come into the NPP election headquarters to make us believe that the elections had been marred by lots of irregularities to undermine the credibility of the elections.” *
This is what the General Secretary of the NPP said in the evening of 8thDecember 2012 as reported by www.myjoyonline.com: *“The General Secretary of the party, Kwadwo Owusu Afriyie at a press conference in Accra – the third of such conferences on Saturday said its flag bearer Nana Akufo-Addo has secured a first round victory with 51.3 per cent of total votes cast. He said the incumbent president polled a little over 45 per cent of the total votes cast. “We know the results; we know Nana Addo will be the president. Go there (EC) in white no mourning cloth and jubilate,”*
So how come a party that declared itself the winner of an election with 51.30% on 8th December comes back to the Court of Public Opinion 20 days later claiming to have won the same election with 50.28%? Where is the credibility of the NPP and their candidate??
- In the afternoon of 9th December, 2012, the National Chairman of the NPP in a press conference announced to the people of Ghana that they have discovered substantial evidence indicating that the NDC and President Mahama have connived with some EC staff in changing results declared at the collation centers before it got to the EC in the strong room. But the NPP in presenting their petition to the COP last week have shifted from their position on 9th December to mere irregularities.
This is what Jake Obetsebi Lamptey said on 9th December, 2012: *“It is obvious from the preponderance of evidence available to us that at all material times the ruling National Democratic Congress led by President John Mahama conspired with certain EC staff in constituencies across the country to falsify the election results and thereby abuse the mandate of the people of Ghana.”*
Jake continued *“Substantial discrepancies have been discovered from results from collation centers when compared with the official tally figures from the EC… in Savelugu constituency, John Mahama of the NDC received 21,165 votes according to the EC at the collation centre. However in actual fact, 31,165 votes have been falsely declared for him. Like in all the other instances revealing this pattern of fraud, we have the blue sheets to support this blatant act of rape of the democratic mandate of the people of Ghana.”*
When the EC published the results of the Presidential Elections, all these claims were found to be false. Where is the credibility of the NPP and their candidate??
*2. **PRESIDENT JOHN MAHAMA SHOULD NOT HAVE BEEN CITED IN THE PETITION*
- The NPP cited President John Mahama as the 1st Respondent in their petition to the CPO and it considered that as mischievous and not upheld by the Constitution.
- The CPO suggested that by article 57 (5), the President cannot be liable to any civil or criminal proceedings: *“The President shall not, while in office as President, be personally liable to any civil or criminal proceedings in court.”*
- During proceedings at the CPO, the NPP argued that it draws its strength from the Constitutional Instrument (CI) 74 which indicates that the person whose election is being challenged should be cited as the 1stRespondent. But the CPO upheld that the said provision in CI 74 was provided for in view of the fact that the person whose election is being challenged may not necessarily be the President of the Republic. And once the person whose election is under challenge is the President, CI 74 should fall flat.
*3. **NPP LACKS BASIC ARITHMETIC SKILLS*
- The inability of the NPP to do simple arithmetic angered the CPO and led them to dismiss the case. Below is how the NPP so called legal luminaries presented their case in the Petition – “item 18 (ii) Total votes declared as cast in favor of the contesting presidential candidates were as follows:
(a) John Dramani Mahama -- 5, 574, 761. 50.70%
(b) Dr. Henry Herbert Lartey -- 38, 223. 0.35%
(c) Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo -- 5, 248, 898. 47.74%
(d) Dr. Papa Kwesi Nduom -- 64, 362. 0.59%
(e) Akwasi Addai Odike -- 8, 877. 0.08%
(f) Hassan Ayariga -- 24, 617. 0.22%
(g) Dr. Michael Abu Sakara Forster -- 20, 323. 0.18%
(h) Jacob Osei Yeboah -- 15, 201. 0.14%
14, 158, 880
A simple addition of the figures as provided by the EC and re-stated by the NPP gives total valid votes of 10,995,262 and not 14,158,880 as wrongly stated by NPP.
- Again after concocting their own figures, declaring those figures as wrongly counted and apportioning them to each candidate, the NPP could still not get basic arithmetic correct. Below is how the NPP presented their case in the petition – item 23: “Petitioners say when these figures are annulled and deducted from the total votes declared by the Chairman of 2nd Respondent on 9th December 2012, the results that ought to be returned are as follows:
AMOUNT TO BE ANNULLED
% OF VOTES
John Dramani Mahama
Henry Herbert Lartey
Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo
Papa Kwesi Nduom
Akwasi Addai Odike
Michael Abu Sakara Foster
Jacob Osei Yeboah
A sum of the percentage of votes’ column gives a figure of more than 100%. This could have been acceptable but it shocked the CPO since so much vituperation had been spouted by the NPP about the EC and NDC about the conduct of the election that it could not forgive the NPP for committing such mistakes.
The Court of Public Opinion in a unanimous decisive decision threw the NPP petition out of its court.
They further directed that if the NPP candidate continues to hold himself as a President unelected by the people, he should be referred to as “Ghana’s Rebel Leader, His Disgraceful Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo (Rtd.)”
Watch out for Part two (II) – which consist of the final two (2) grounds on which the CPO threw out the NPP petition from its court; it will be exceedingly revealing!!!
Reporting from the Courts of Public Opinion,
Brogya Genfi, Kumasi – Ashanti Region