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Opinions of Friday, 26 April 2013

Columnist: Agyemang, Katakyie Kwame Opoku

I Pity John Mahama and his "Electoral Fraudsters"

Even though I have no legal knowledge with regard to judicial processes, I was not really impressed with the performance of Prez Mahama's Counsel, Mr. Tony Lithur, as far as his cross-examination with Dr. Bawumia was concerned. As an astute lawyer and being a counsel for the first respondent in this crucial electoral case, I was among the numerous concerned Ghanaians, who expected Mr. Lithur to do a better job than what we observed. But how do you blame him in a circumstance where he is defending something that is indefensible?

It would be recalled that the Supreme Court issued two clear directives to both the petitioners and the respondents of the electoral case before it, when it sat for the first time to adjudicate the substantive case.

Firstly, the court said it would establish whether or not there were violations, irregularities, omissions and malpractices in the 2012 general elections; and secondly, it would determine whether the afore-mentioned affected the results.

In line with this, the petitioners cited 11,138 Polling Stations to show the court where the violations, malpractices, irregularities, and omissions occurred. They also tendered in pink sheets and other documents as evidence to show that indeed, over-voting, voting without biometric verification, the absence of the signatures of presiding officers or their assistants on the Pink Sheets, the use of Duplicate serial numbers on the Pink Sheets, the use of same polling station codes for different polling station results, and 22 unknown polling stations where voting was conducted, actually occurred.

However, instead of Lawyer Tony Lithur telling the court and the petitioners whether the above did take place or not, the man was just interested in undermining the integrity, credibility, and intellectual prowess of Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia, the key witness to the case.

From his cross-examination since Monday, 16th of April, 2013, all that Tony Lithur has succeeded in doing is to contest the number of duplicate pink sheets. To him, the duplicated pink sheets have rather increased the number of polling stations being contested. In other words, the polling stations where the irregularities or malpractices occurred were less than 11,138 and that Dr. Bawumia's claim is not true.

In the light of the above, Tony Lithur is wrongly insisting that Dr. Bawumia had lied to the Supreme Court, and as such should be dealt with according to the laws of the land. Again, Lawyer Lithur says since Dr. Bawumia had also admitted before the Court that the few duplicated pink sheets might be a mistake on his part, then it is only fair to excuse the Chairman of EC and his team of officers who conducted the 2012 elections, as they are also prone to human error. His argument even suggests that "administrative errors", and for that matter electoral challenges, are not peculiar to Ghana alone.

In fact, if this is all that Tony Lithur has a "defensive lawyer", then I can confidently say that the Supreme Court's verdict would definitely go in favour of the petitioners. I say this because Tony Lithur has so far not been able to challenge any of the substantive issues - malpractices, omissions, irregularities etc. For instance, trying to reduce the number of the "problematic polling stations" from say 11,138 to around 8,000 does not exonerate the Electoral Commission (EC) from committing certain avoidable "electioneering crimes". In any case, if someone accuses you of killing 10 people, but it turns out that the number was actually 3 and not 10, it is only ludicrous for you to tell the court that the complainant had lied so he should rather be prosecuted. Every murder is murder, irrespective of the number of victims involved. Similarly, if you're accused of stealing all the 600 Nkomf3m (guinea fowls) from from Asongbata SADA farms, but you accept to stealing only 20 and not 600, nothing stops you from being prosecuted. There are no two types of stealing. Every stealing is stealing!

The above notwithstanding, Tony Lithur again showed a high level of professional incompetence as a lawyer, when he made an attempt to constitutionalise "normal mistakes" in this serious matter. He must be told in plain language that no where in the Supreme Court's directives did the Judges mention something like "Normal Mistakes", or "Administrative Errors". But, assuming without admitting that the Judges made reference to them, the crux of the matter is the extent to which those "errors" affected the 2012 Presidential Election Results. In other words, the Judges will be critically examining the so-called "normal mistakes", and if some were found to be a deliberate ploy by the EC to favour one particular Candidate, the onus lies on the the 9-member panel to write their names in the "Electoral Golden Book" of Ghana.

Tony Lithur's cross-examination so far has given credence to the New Patriotic Party's claim that the 2012 General Elections was systematically and successfully rigged by Afari Gyan and his EC to impose John Mahama on Ghanaians.

It's my fervent hope that our eminent Judges would continue to live up to expectation, by basing their judgement not only on the current electoral fraud, but also by the hardship, thievery, and corruption being perpetuated on Ghanaians by the ruling NDC government.

For me, I cannot wait to join my colleagues in Ghana for the imminent "Victory Party" sooner than later. Let's continue to pray for our Judges to be bold and defend the good name of Ghana. Let's continue to show our gratitude to Nana Akufo-Addo, Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia, and Mr. Jake Obetsebi Lamptey for their tolerance, sense of maturity, and wisdom in exposing these "electoral fraudsters".

God bless Ghana! God bless the NPP!! God bless Kufuor!!!

Katakyie Kwame Opoku Agyemang, Enfield, London.

(Free SHS Ambassador) Official blog: (www.katakyie.com) katakyienpp@yahoo.co.uk 07577626433 A native of Asante Bekwai-Asakyiri