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General News of Thursday, 4 July 2013

Source: NPP Communications Directorate

Pink sheet brouhaha over, hearing ends next week


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Lead Counsel for the Petitioners, Philip Addison on Wednesday informed the Supreme Court sitting on the Presidential Election Petition that the findings of the KPMG count of pink sheets filed by the petitioners vindicates the position of the petitioners who have maintained since the commencement of the trial that they filed 11,842 unique pink sheets.

The hearings on Wednesday, which ended earlier than usual, saw an effective end to the pink sheet brouhaha on the number of exhibits filed by the petitioners which has delayed the court’s hearings severally as a result of numerous complaints from the respondents on supposed shortages in exhibits supplied to them.

Counsel Addison at the start of the day’s hearings mentioned to the court that several issues surrounding the KPMG report remained unresolved for which the court should make a decision regarding these issues.

He mentioned that although the KPMG representative, Mr. Amanoo Dodoo had told the court the unique count was 8,675 pink sheets, that could not be the case because 1,545 pink sheets had not been added to this unique count because according to the KPMG representative “one or two things” were unclear on the pink sheets.

Lawyer Addison proceeded to list the items which were used by KPMG to classify these sheets as illegible. • NPN – No Polling Station Name: But Addison explained the polling station code could be used to identify these ‘irregularities’. • NPC – No Polling Station Code: The polling station name could be used. • UPN – Unclear Polling station Name: The polling station code could be used. • UPC –Unclear Polling station Code: The polling station name could be used. • CWA – Code without Alphabet: The polling station name could be used. • LBAI – Low Ballot Accounting Information: This is not part of the remit of the referee. At this point, Justice Baffoe Bonnie inquired from Counsel Addison if the pink sheets were rejected because all these identifiers were missing. Counsel Addison explained that that was not the case and that they were taken out if any one of these identifiers were missing. Indeed, Counsel Addison explained that 850 of these sheets clearly had polling station codes which were all listed in the report and was surprised those had also been left out since polling stations codes was the primary identifiers of polling stations.

At this point, Justice Baffoe Bonnie took a look at his copy of the KPMG report and expressed surprise himself at how some of the pink sheets had been classified as illegible and left out of the unique count and the various tests KPMG claimed to have run.

Counsel Philip Addison also explained that those identifiers or issues which were illegible on the various pink sheets could not be the problem of the petitioners and reminded the court that the pink sheet was produced by presiding officers of the Electoral Commission who filled the various portions such as polling station names, codes, etc. and thus if any of those were not clear, it could not be the fault of the petitioners.

Counsel Philip Addison stated that aside the 850 sheets which clearly had codes per the KPMG report, the petitioners had also through the use of other identifiers such as exhibit numbers, polling station names etc., been able to identify an additional 655 and said that from what had been identified in the 850 with codes and the 655 identified with other identifiers, the petitioners had found 1,291 unique sheets in the 1,545 classified as illegible by KPMG.

Counsel Addison stated that aside the issue of 1,545 which the court needed to make a decision on, was the 2876 sheets found in the President’s set but which were not in the Registrar’s set according to the KPMG report. He indicated that the petitioners on their own had been able to identify 871 unique pink sheets out of these 2,876 and that any count of unique sheets filed by the petitioners had to include these 871 which had clearly been proven to have been filed.

Counsel Addison stated that further as the petitioners had indicated earlier, 648 of the pink sheets used by the 1st and 3rd respondents in their cross examination of Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia were not in the sets of either the registrar or the president of the panel and since it had properly been filed and was in evidence, it ought to be added to any unique count of pink sheets filed by the petitioners.

Counsel Philip Addison informed the court that when all the unique sheets in the various sets as he had listed are summed, it would come up to 11,485.

The petitioners had earlier suggested in their cross examination of the KPMG representative, Mr. Nii Amanoo Dodoo that if the respondents are made to declare fully what was served on them, the court would be able to find the remaining exhibits which number a few hundreds.

At this stage the various justices directed the petitioners that to move progress and ensure that the case comes to an end by next week, the petitioners should indicate all the number of unique pink sheets as had been shown in the KPMG report, in the set of the registrar and the president of the panel and those used in cross examination which were not in the sets counted by KPMG as they were also in the court’s records, in their addresses noting that the count had clearly proved that the petitioners even submitted more than 11,842 pink sheets.

Justice Sophia Adinyirah indicated that whether the respondents had a certain pink sheet or not would no longer be an issue in continuing the cross examination of Dr. Afari Gyan, Electoral Commissioner and that once those sheets had been captured by the KPMG report, the petitioners were free to cross examine on them.

The Petitioners are calling on the court to annul results in the December Presidential elections from 11,138 polling stations which were affected by various irregularities including over voting, voting without biometric verification, no signature of presiding officers and the occurrence of same serial numbers on more than one pink sheet.

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