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Opinions of Sunday, 28 July 2013

Columnist: Akosomo, Kwadwo Nyantakyi

Go to court indeed.

As the lawyers of the stakeholders in the ongoing Supreme Court hearing ponder to write their submissions to claim victory most Ghanaians have become anxious because of the fear of unknown but two people panicking at this time are President John Dramani Mahama and Dr. Kwadwo Afari-Gyan who have every thing to loose. The ordeal that Ghanaians are going through could have been avoided had Afari Gyan been little tolerant to his unfavorable party the NPP.
The key expectation of electoral commissioner is to provide an independent, impartial and professional electoral service to the nation so as to meet the expectations of all the stakeholders in the electoral processes and in the exercise of his functions under the Constitution, “the Electoral Commissioner shall not be subject to the direction or control of any person or authority”.
In the Dec 7 and 8th general election NPP special committee “found numerous malpractices and statutory violations and irregularities as evidenced in the primary record of the elections at the polling station called pink sheets,” Therefore the chairman of the New Patriotic Party and representatives of the petitioners Mr. Jake Obetsebi-Lamptey approached the electoral commission to suspend the declaration of the presidential results until fair play and justice had been ensured. Such request is not alien in electoral system. It took months in Iraq, Egypt etc for electoral results to be declared. Even in America similar situation happened during the November 7, 2000 presidential election. The Supreme Court decided in favor of George H. W Bush on December 12, 2000 after several recounts. However, stubborn and bias electoral commissioner Afari Djan refused to be part of fair play and blatantly ignored wise counseling and rushed to declare Mahama the president despite the over whelming evidence of malpractices.
Afari Gyan arrogantly told the NPP representative to ‘go to court” convincing himself and the people of Ghana that he had answers to every complaint by the petitioners. On December 28, 2012, an election petition was filed before the supreme court of Ghana, challenging the declared results of the December 7 and 8 presidential race by 3 petitioners, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, the 2012 presidential candidate of New Patriotic Party (NPP), his running mate, Dr Mahamudu Bawumia, and Jake Obetsebi-Lamptey, chairman of the NPP. On Wednesday April 17, 2013 Dr Mumuni Bawumia mounted the witness box to provide evidence in the election petition case before the Supreme Court. He spent two days giving watertight evidence and the respondents had the opportunity to review the petitioners’ evidence and had the chance to contradict the veracity of the petitioners’ analyses but failed miserably.
Demeanor at the NDC side in the court Rm changed drastically as Adisson stood up to question Afari Gyan. It must be recalled that at the commencement of Supreme Court proceedings Afari Gyan always came to court brimming with smile, arrogant and exhibiting bravado, chewing gum like young hausa (girl) peanut seller. Now as Dr Afari Gyan sat in the witness box and Adisson started questioning him, disappointment and frustration could be seen on the faces of the NDC members, Afari Gjan was visibly nervous, shaking, and restless, confused and presented himself as passenger in the EC activities. In short his witnessing has been a disgrace.
Moreover Instead of the EC remaining neutral showed open bias by pitching tent with NDC in court. They compared notes, asked same questions, supported same objections and Afari Gyan openly vouched for NDC. Afari Gyan put all his eggs in NDC basket and with NDC facing slippery slope due to over whelming evidence of malpractices as confirmed by Afari Gyan himself before polls that “if even one vote was seen to have exceeded the number of ballot papers issued, the results of the polling station would be annulled”. NDC will surely fall and Afari Gyan would be prosecuted.