Feature Article of Saturday, 8 June 2013
Columnist: Adofo, Rockson
Regarding Election 2012 petition filed in the Supreme Court by Nana Akufo Addo, Dr Mahamudu Bawumia and Jake Otanka Obetsebi-Lamptey against the Electoral Commission and then presidential-candidate John Dramani Mahama, my White legal brains have the following observations to make.
Prior to making their observations known, would my readers please refer to my feature article published on Ghanaweb on Sunday 27 January 2013 entitled, "Supreme Court to Determine if Nana Akuffo-Addo is Obliged to release further details to John Mahama & Kwadwo Afari-Gyan before……..?" In the said article, I highlighted the observations and suggestions some more knowledgeable legal brains I had contacted about the request for "further details and better particulars" made. One of such suggestions was, "The court must require Kwadwo Afari-Gyan to make available to the court all the pink sheets and verification machines covering the entire 26, 000 polling stations in the country even before Nana Akuffo-Addo mentions the names of the disputed areas. This will prevent them from carrying out any further criminal actions of trying to destroy the incriminating evidences if there exist any as alleged".
Many are so far the attempts made to destroy or tamper with evidences after the revelation of the affected polling stations and what the problems associated with them are. On the unsigned pink sheets, some NDC stalwart in the Northern region colluded with one Salamatu, an employee of the Electoral Commission in Savelugu to arrange some people to sign then unsigned pink sheets. On over-votes, the Electoral Commission attempted to lure an Electoral Presiding Officer in Gambaga in the Northern region to sign an affidavit attesting that he, out of his own volition, cancelled the results of a polling station for over-voting. He refused and reported the case to the police. I shall not go into the details as everything is already in the public domain. There are numerous other instances of executed criminal acts or attempts to obliterate any incriminating evidences. I have already written copiously about most of the incidents.
What do my adorable White legal brains, the shoulders I run to cry on in moments of seeking legal advice say?
1. Dr Kwadwo Afari Gyan is a pathological liar; a man without integrity but insanely egotistic. His evidence cannot be credible enough to be taken serious. He is unreliable, cannot be trusted. He colluded with the other respondents to rig the election. a) He has a voice-recorded definition for Over-vote that became the mantra for Election 2012. This was made well before the election. He said, "We have agreed in principle that at any polling station where the ballots in the ballot box outnumber verified votes cast, the results for that polling station shall be cancelled". The same person in the witness box says he is confused himself about what is meant by Over-voting. When he was challenged by Justice Baffoe Bonnie, he volunteered what he calls a classical meaning for over-voting. He said, "Over-voting is when the ballots in the ballot box exceed the number of registered voters on the voter register". This is a PhD holder with a supposed thirty years and over experience in elections and claims to be an authority on Ghana electoral processes.
b) He had prior to the elections been declaring at press conferences what became known as NVNV (No Verification No Vote). He went further to say, "If I say verification I mean biometrically". This is the same person sitting in a witness box in the Supreme Court trying to mischievously smuggle in certain terms and definitions to justify the malice he has inflicted on the discerning citizens of Ghana. He brings in "Temporary Trauma", explaining it as those people with difficulty having their fingers recognised by the biometric verification machine on that very particular day and moment. To him, they can vote. What nonsense that is. As some people were turned away at some polling stations, others elsewhere had free fall liberty to vote in the name of "temporary trauma". Did he make this known to all the electorates and the political parties well before the election? No! c) He does not recognise the importance of serial numbers as appear on the pink sheets. Why were the serial numbers there in the first place? He claims those contracted to print the pink sheets put them in on their own volition. Did he question them as to why they put in the serial numbers against his wish? If he did not but allow the sheets to be used, then he has indirectly accepted the serial numbers and hence, their importance and purpose of usage. The important catch is why were there duplications of serial numbers on more than one set of 12-sheet carbonated pink sheets and were used in different polling stations? This goes to tell many or all of the pink sheets were duplicated and could have been used for undisclosed intentions. Will Afari Gyan find out from those that printed the pink sheets why there were instances of duplicated serial numbers?
d) For his outfit arranging some people to sign then unsigned pink sheets tells how serious the consequence of an electoral presiding officer not signing a the pink sheet is on the usage of that pink sheet to declare the results. Trying to conceal his crime in this regard, he comes out explaining that since a set of pink sheets is in twelve-carbonated copies, if whoever is signing the top sheet does not press the pen hard against the paper, the signature may either fade or not appear on the sheets underneath. He has seemingly good explanations and answers to cover up his criminal tracks but unfortunately for him, his explanations are not good enough.
2. On the Supreme Court judges
i) They should have obliged the Electoral Commission to deposit copies of all the pink sheets covering the 26,000+ polling stations with the court. If they had, the Electoral Commission would not have the recourse to tamper with them as seen in the case of Savelugu by Salamatu
ii) The Supreme Court should have ordered for all the biometric verification machines to be kept in a special vault to avoid anyone tampering with them but that never happened
iii) The Supreme Court must be commended for refusing the printout from the biometric machines to be used as evidence by Dr Afari Gyan. Instead of using the face value indications on the pink sheets in arguing out the issue of over-voting, he decided to be cleverer. He was tactically ambushing the petitioners by presenting probably doctored proofs. As long as he did not attach the printout to his affidavit submitted to the court within stated time, it should not be accepted.
I shall come back to continue with their observations and conclusions. I am dozing off already, so off to bed I go.