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Opinions of Saturday, 27 April 2013

Columnist: Adofo, Rockson

Does Simply Appending a Signature to "Pink sheets" ...

....remove the Element of Crime committed?

The Chief Counsel for the Electoral Commission, Lawyer Quarshie-Idun, may be a second Tony Lithur, the Counsel for President Mahama, if care was not taken. He would likely be as boring, going in circles, as did Tony Lithur but in the end unable to justify why some irregularities did occur. He was only satisfied to learn in the end that the crux of the trial is the Electoral Commission but not President Mahama, the 1st Respondent.

President Mahama was sued in the writ filed by the Petitioners because the Constitution allows whoever is not satisfied to sue the Electoral Commission then the beneficiary in which case it is President Mahama. Once the Electoral Commission is found guilty, the beneficiary becomes automatically guilty. The NDC as a party is immaterial to the suit even though they have forced themselves into it, as lawless, incompetent and clueless as they usually are.

Lawyer Quarshie-Idun obliged Dr. Bawumia to read some portions of the obligations of Polling Agents at polling stations. It turned out to be that the polling agents must be vigilant to enhance the credibility of the election(s) and then to certify the declared results by appending their signature or endorse the Statement of Polls and Declaration form (Pink sheets).

Amazingly, it was nowhere stated that the endorsement of the documents, thus, the pink sheets, by the polling agents, in itself testifies to the fact that there were, or there could not have been irregularities and also, appending your signature able to remove any violations if any exists. It repeatedly stressed that the presence of the polling agents as party representatives was to enhance the credibility of the election.

What is ENHANCE by definition? Enhance means "to raise to a higher degree; intensify; magnify: to raise the value or price". If their presence and signatures are to raise the credibility of the election so organised by the Electoral Commission, their presence and signatures do not in themselves in any way constitute a remedy for, or have the inherent potency to negate, or remove, any electoral violations if any did occur.

However, failure by the Presiding officer to sign declaration forms, occurrence of over votes, under votes, and not going through biometric verification, all constitute statutory violations as spelt out in the CI 74 and CI 75.

Statutory violations are violations no matter how much hard you try to put a nice face to them, classifying or terming them differently. I therefore found it insignificant if not absolutely nonsensical the insistence by Quarshie-Idun to seem to establish through cross-examination of Dr Bawumia that as long as NPP polling agents signed the declaration of results forms, there were no irregularities committed whatsoever.

I find some questions asked during the cross-examination very nauseating and are of the nature of proving how unintelligent most Ghanaian lawyers are.

The petition filed in the Supreme Court by Nana Akufo Addo and Co is all about insisting that electoral malpractices took place to impact negatively on the credibility of Election 2012 results hence, they do not accept the results as it stands now. They have indicated the types of violations and the polling stations where they took place on both hard and softcopies.

The fact that the irregularities constituting statutory violations may not have occurred in all the 11,000+ polling stations as alleged by Tony Lithur does not mean that malpractices have not occurred in say the 8,000 stations Tony Lithur claims to have received pink sheets on.

I, Rockson Adofo, the Wise One from Kumawu/Asiampa, would like to know from the Counsels for President Mahama, the Electoral Commission and the NDC if none of the alleged irregularities ever took place in any of the alleged 11,000+ or the 8,000+ polling stations?

The intention of, and the statement by, Tony Lithur, to take the petitioners by surprise in attempts to fault Dr Bawumia on some questions is as irrelevant as he appears not to be any intelligent lawyer. I am throwing the gauntlet to him, challenging him on his legal knowhow; he can dare me to a contest.

It is in the absence of evidential proof that you keep asking surprise questions in the hope of catching the culprit but not in the case of the plaintiff having provided hardcopies covering the over 11,000 stations. Moreover, Dr Bawumia is not a magician to remember at the crack of the finger exactly what malpractice occurred at any specific polling station among the 11,000+ alleged polling stations with multiple irregularities off head.

Was it not for the expediency of the Court that the Supreme Court Justices suggested to Lawyer Tony Lithur to provide Dr Bawumia, the Court and all parties involved softcopies of the pink sheets given to the 1st Respondent, indicating areas he objects to? Nevertheless, as clueless a lawyer of low standard he is, he refused but insisted he wants to fault Dr Bawumia by asking him surprise questions. He did not want Dr Bawumia to think through his answers beforehand, Tony Lithur said.

Anyway, this may be the way of doing things in Ghana, who knows? However, let me put it to the lawyers of the respondents, no matter what you do, the alleged 11,000+ pink sheets will be audited to prove whether or not statutory violations did take place. And if they did, what impact did it have on the outcome of election 2012 and the declaration of results?

One thing I know is, GOD has notified all discerning Ghanaians through Kofi Basoah that He has ordained Nana Akufo Addo to be the President of Ghana to liberate His children from the shackles of modern day slavery under the NDC administration.

I shall come back as I feel sleepy at the moment. I cannot wait to get to bed.

Rockson Adofo