General News of Thursday, 25 April 2013

Source: myjoyonline

EC's 'surprise evidence' in court shot down

Counsel for Electoral Commission (EC) James Quashie-Idun's attempt to spring surprise evidence in court was Thursday shot down by Presiding Judge, Justice William Atuguba, after he upheld objections from counsel for the petitioners.

James Quarshie-Idun, Counsel for EC, second respondent in the ongoing election petition hearing, sought to "tender in" pink sheets of a polling station named "Presby JHS code number H23 0401", where New Patriotic Party's 2012 Vice presidential candidate and key witness, Dr. Mamaudu Bawumia voted.

Lawyer Quarshie-Idun had sought to cross-examine Dr. Bawumia on the said polling station pink sheets.

He argued that it was part of 26,000 pink sheets used by the E.C to declare the winner of the 2012 election results. He was supported by Tony Lithur, counsel for first respondent, President John Mahama, and Tsatsu Tsikata, counsel for the National Democratic Congress (NDC).

But Lawyer for the petitioners, Phillip Addison, raised an objection and cited that his opposing counsel was engaging in "ambush litigation". He accused counsel for second respondent for "springing pink sheets" in court that were not part of the affidavits and therefore not in contention.

"We are not contesting 26,000 pink sheets", he emphasized, but rather 11,842 and challenged counsel to "fish out" any pink sheet among these pink sheets as "an example" for his cross-examination.

Counsel for the petitioners questioned the relevance of using Dr. Bawumia's polling station especially when that polling station was "not in contention".

He said though "ground rules" for litigation required that each party filed affidavits to which the E.C had submitted none and was therefore bound to use only affidavits submitted by counsel for petitioners.

In his ruling,Justice William Atuguba said that "by a majority of 6 -3, objection was upheld".