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Opinions of Thursday, 18 July 2013

Columnist: Adamu, Albert

Shame on KPMG

From the onset of the cross examination of the 2nd Petitioner, in the Presidential Election Petition, by counsel for the 1st and 3rd Respondents, Tony Lithur and Tsatsu Tsikata respectively, it was clear that the mode of question was going to hinge on the reducing the numbers of the pink sheets in contention in the court.

Indeed, Tony Lithur and Tsatsu Tsikata are on record to have stated that the petitioners set out to deceive the court by presenting a “jumble of paper” to “shore up numbers” so as to prove that they filed 11,842 exhibits in court.

Alex Segbefia, a former deputy Chief of Staff revealed the true intention of the respondents regarding the number of exhibits filed at the registry, when he asked lawyers for the respondents to apply to the court to dismiss the case if it turned out that the number of pink sheets presented by the petitioners as evidence did not tally with what they told the court.

So this was the grand strategy of the respondents: to reduce numbers of petitioners at all cost and in that regard, subsequently ask the court to throw out this all important case.

It is against this background that the court decided to appoint an independent referee to conduct a truthful and faithful count of the pink sheets in the custody of the registrar of the Supreme Court and use the set in the custody of the President of the Court as a control measure. This count was supposed to bring to an end all the brouhaha surrounding the pink sheets.

However, to the dismay of many Ghanaians, KPMG conducted, at best what has been described as a partial count of the pinksheets filed by the petitioners. One wonders what motivated the audit firm to behave in such a manner. There are many rumours, which are unproven at the moment, that the representative of KPMG and head of Audit Practice, Mr Amanor Dodoo was once a constituency executive for the National Democratic Congress. Time will tell if this rumour is indeed the truth, as this has not been denied by Mr Amanor Doodoo.

According to the KPMG count, a total of 8,675 unique pink sheets had been identified. However, KPMG refused to count, in addition to the 8,675 pink sheets, some 1,545 pink sheets in the registrar’s set because it claimed those pinksheets had “unclear data.”

Out of the 1,545 pink sheets, the petitioners have been able to identify 1,219 of these pink sheets. Whilst in the witness box, Dr Afari Gyan indicated that he had identified a further 15 more pink sheets in addition to the 1,219, taking the total to 1,234 pink sheets out of the 1,545 that have been identified.

The 8,675 unique pink sheets identified by KPMG in their count of the registrar’s set of pink sheets does not also include 2,876 pink sheets found in the set of the president of the panel, Justice William Atuguba which are not in the registrar’s set of pink sheets as confirmed by Nii Amanor Dodoo. Out of the 2,876 pinksheets, the petitioners have indicated that they have identified 833 unique pink sheets.

Similarly, the KPMG in their count of the registrar’s set of pink sheets did not include some of the exhibits used by the respondents in the cross examination of 2nd petitioner, Dr. Bawumia which the petitioners have indicated are as much as 648.

Doing a simple mathematical computation of the 8,675 pink sheets identified by the KPMG; the 1,234 identified by the petitioners and Dr Afari Gyan; the 833 unique pink sheets in the set of Justice Atuguba; and the 648 used by the 1st and 3rd respondents, a total of 11,390 unique pinksheets can be said to have been filed by the respondents.

Indeed, it is recalled that the petitioners have stated that they are now relying on pink sheets from 11,138 polling stations and as such from all indications, the petitioners have more than enough pink sheets to prosecute their case.

Quoting from Justice Adinyirah, “it is clear that you [the petitioners] have over filed.”

Justice William Atuguba on Monday 15th July 2013 that the judges are clear in their mind about the number of pink sheets filed by the petitioners and asked Counsel Philip Addison not to be labour the point in trying to prove that they indeed submitted all the pink sheets they are relying on in this case, and a tacit approval of the fact that the bench knows that the petitioners filed all the pink sheets.

The clandestine pact between the respondents and KPMG’s representative has been exposed for all to see. Their determination to see only a total count of 8,675 pink sheets to corroborate the claims made by the respondents has backfired for all of Ghana to see.