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Opinions of Saturday, 15 June 2013

Columnist: Appiah-Osei, Lawrence

Supreme Court Adjournment, Why should that happen?

On Thursday, June 13 2013, the Supreme Court adjourned the election petition filed by some individuals in the New Patriotic Party (NPP) to June 24, 2013. No who cause am?
All along, and as I listened and watched the television, I had thought that, the individuals in the NPP went to the Supreme Court to have two things done. First is to have the case settled as quickly as possible and secondly for the Supreme Court to declare Nana Akufo-Addo, the President of Ghana after the December 2012 elections. It was in the middle of the case, when they realized that their wishes may not happen after all, did they come up with a third reason, that is, the case in court is to strengthen Ghana’s democratic process.
My understanding again was that, they have accused the Electoral Commission and the Commissioner of statutory violations, irregularities and omissions that they thought affected the results of the December 2012 elections. So how come the Supreme Court had to adjourn for one week, considering how important this case is to the NPP? How come?
I want to make two things clearer so far as the case before the Supreme Court is concerned: 1. The NPP had been consistent in maintaining that they tendered 11,842 pink sheets and 2. The irregularities and omissions of the Electoral Commission caused them the presidency.
Now an independent referee, KPMG, was called in to audit the pink sheets because the respondents had also been consistent in saying that they were served with less than 11,842 pink sheets. When the counting of the pink sheets started, the respondents requested that a control mechanism should be put in place to confirm or deny the number of pink sheets at the court registrar’s office. They suspected some foul play on the pink sheets. I will not blame them.
The initial count by KPMG as reported by the Daily Guide Newspaper put the number of pink sheets to be 13,900. When Madam Gloria Akufo, one of the lawyers for the NPP was confronted on why the initial figure exceeded the 11,842 on TV, her explanation was that, they had only five days to put all those together and even some of the evidence don’t have the Commissioner of Oath’s signature. She pride herself that they have “over supplied” the pink sheets. Can you believe this? Stuff like this happen only in Ghana. “Over Supplied evidence”
The very people who are in court accusing the Electoral Commission of irregularities, managed to tender 13,900 pink sheets to the court instead of 11,842. These very people are asking the court to annul about 4.6 million valid votes because the Presiding Officers did not sign the pink sheets and yet they want the same court to accept their evidence even though the Commissioner of Oath did not sign them. These very people are asking the court to finish the case on time and even accused Lawyer Tsatsu Tsikata of wasting the court’s time for using 13 days to cross-examine. Yet their actions and inactions have caused the court to adjourn proceedings for one strong week. These very people are accusing the Electoral Commission of irregularities and omissions in the election, yet out of their 13,900 pink sheets; every tenth has either the polling code or polling name or serial number pointing in three difference directions. I could imagine the outcome if either Dr. Bawumia or Lawyer Philip Addison were the Electoral Commissioner during the December 2012 elections. You see the kind of people who want to rule Ghana again? Everything good about everybody is bad and everything bad about the NPP is good. Would the court adjourn if NPP had supplied 11,842 pink sheets and extra 7 boxes had not been added to the ones in the registrar’s office? How did the pink sheets jump from 11,842 to 13,900? They accuse the Commission of denying them the presidency and yet go to the Supreme Court and commit worse irregularities, statutory violations, omissions and mistakes.
Finally, the NPP is accusing the Electoral Commission of statutory violations, irregularities and omissions because the Commission was firm in making sure that the December 2012 elections was free, clean and fair. I hope they don’t accuse the Supreme Court of statutory violations, irregularities, and omissions if the court was firm in making sure that the final decision on this case was also free, clean and fair. Let’s watch and listen to the NPP closely until nothing happens.

Lawrence Appiah-Osei
NDC USA Financial Secretary

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