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Opinions of Sunday, 2 June 2013

Columnist: Jackson, Margaret

The Arrogance Of The All-Knowing NPP

Again Shows Up In Court

May 31, 2013

Many Ghanaians who have been following the Supreme Court petition challenging the legitimacy of the 2012 Election results which was soundly won by President John Mahama, are saying that perhaps if the elite NPP leadership has taken the pains to shed their all-knowing attitude and learnt the basics of the electoral laws, they will not be in the mess they find themselves today.

You do not need to be a sage to determine that Dr Mahamadu Bawumia who not long ago became part of the “all-knowing and all-encompassing” NPP gang, hugely exposed himself by becoming perhaps the first person in recent memory to rush to court as a star witness and gave his own interpretation of the electoral laws of the country when in fact he does not even know of the existence of the Guide to Candidates and Agents published and distributed to political parties by the Electoral Commission (EC) ahead of the 2012 polls.

Even when several portions of the EC laws have been read thoroughly in court, Bawumia and his NPP gang still did not back away from their insular interpretation of the EC laws, thus making a big mockery of themselves.

It was therefore gratifying when Dr Kwadwo Afari Gyan, the Electoral Commissioner who has been severely vilified by the NPP decided to mount the witness box to give his evidence-in-chief at the Supreme Court.

But his decision to mount the witness box was without drama as the NPP lead counsel, Philip Addison sought relentlessly to prevent him from giving his evidence. It, therefore, has to take a majority decision by the justices sitting on the case to rule that Dr Afari Gyan who is the Returning Officer and representing the EC as a party to the case has to be given the chance to present his evidence to the court.

Observers believe that Addison’s intension of trying to prevent Dr Afari Gyan from testifying has more to do with his fear of Dr Afari Gyan tearing into shreds the so-called evidence of the NPP, and also provide the icing on the respondent’s cake.

And true to the fears exhibited by the NPP, Dr Afari Gyan did not disappoint Ghanaians and those in the International Community monitoring the on-going petition case.

Dr Afari Gyan, in his cool and collected posture held the whole court awestruck when he thoroughly explained the training of electoral officers, how printing of ballot papers were done, the important components of the pink sheets, the determination of polling stations and codes, overall guidelines of the 2012 elections and the number of ballot papers printed among others.

Everybody who was in court was highly educated by the scintillating evidence poured by Dr Afari Gyan which left the NPP members in court in trance. Philip Addison who could not contain the disgrace occasionally fought back with his all too familiar objections to demonstrate that it was his case.

In one of those objections raised by Addison he told the court to stop Dr Afari Gyan from turning his evidence giving into a lecture. But by a majority decision of 6-3 the objection raised by Philip Addison was overruled by the justices.

Perhaps if the NPP folks have taken the pains in learning the electoral laws and how they operate during elections, they would have saved themselves from the disgrace that was unleashed at them by Dr Afari Gyan.

The over pompous all-knowing NPP folks believe they know it all, therefore, they never even took the pains to learn just the basic laws by the EC, which is why they went to court to learn those laws for the very first time from the respondents. In this world you don’t rush to court with loads of accusations when you don’t have the solid evidence to back those accusations. If you happen to go that route you will always end up attempting to tender your subjective analysis into evidence.

Dr Bawumia who sat in court saw most of his so-called allegations thrown into the NPP dustbin whilst Mr Johnson Asiedu Nketia, the General Secretary of the NDC stood tall since most of the things Dr Afari Gyan told the court tied with the very things Asiedu Nketia had said during his evidence-in-chief.

It is the wish of everyone that when the dust is finally settled with the determination of the case by the SC, the NPP leadership will take the humble pie and resolve to use humility as their watchword. They have exposed themselves as a party which profess to know the law but in actual fact do not know the law. The disgrace and shame which they have brought to themselves should be enough for them to tone down on their all-knowing posture. Ghanaians are now better informed.