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Opinions of Sunday, 30 December 2012

Columnist: Atugiya, David

There can be no Judicial Coup d’état

in the December 2012 Elections

At last the much anticipated law suit (petition) against the Electoral Commission (EC) by Nana Akufo-Addo and the NPP for alleged vote rigging by the EC in favour of H. E. President Elect John Mahama in the December 2012 elections has been lodged at the Supreme Court.

From the NPP press statement by Nana Akufo Addo at its press conference held on 28 December 2012 at Alisa Hotel, we now know if not in details that Nana Akufo Addo , Jake Obetsebi-Lamptey and Dr Mahamudu Bawumia are challenging the elections results declared by Dr Afari Gyan , the Electoral Commissioner on 9 December 2012 in which John Mahama was declared President-elect.
According to Dr Bawumia the petition to the Supreme Court were or are: over-voting – where the votes in the ballot box exceed the ballots issued to voters-, voting without verification, duplicated serial numbers and several other irregularities. And that; over voting alone accounted for 620,443 votes, voting without verification, 456,933, words and figures that did not match accounted for 3,841 votes, he noted that a total of all these irregularities (not fraud) as charged by the Nana Akufo Addo and his NPP ever since the declaration of the elections results amounted to 1,340,018 illegal ballots.
A critical examination on the reasons or issues advanced by Nana Akufo Addo, and the so called NPP legal team, who tout themselves as legal luminaries or the best brains in the legal fraternity; having taken nearly 21 days to gather evidence of alleged wrong doing by the EC calls into question the integrity of Nana Addo and the NPP. It is pathetic and affront to democracy for Nana Akufo Addo and NPP to put out these frivolous and laughable reasons before the Supreme Court, challenging an election results that every credible institution, election observers both national and international have passed as free, fair and transparent.
After 20 days of dilly dally or hide and seek and time wasting by the NPP in search for evidence to substantiate a case of alleged fraud (or irregularities as we now know it) in the 2012 Presidential elections; and if having scrutinised the results of about the 26,000 polling stations across the country, these so called evidence presented at the press conference cannot in my candid view be solid enough to take to the Supreme Court to overturn the elections results that made President John Mahama winner of the December 2012 presidential elections for the following obvious reasons.
First, how come Nana Addo, Jake, Bawumia and the NPP, are seeking to annul only the presidential elections and not both the parliamentary and presidential elections results; unless they are alleging that the irregularities they have discovered occurred only in the presidential elections results which is highly unlikely.
Second, the charge of over voting, in my view could go either party’s way since the votes were so close. Also assume the voters included in the over vote numbers are the same that voted without verification, will Nana Akufo Addo and his colleagues including their legal then not be double counting?
Furthermore, the fact presented by Dr Bawumia and the NPP is self-defeating. The number presented for over voting (600K) which measures the difference between the ballots cast and the ballots issued (per verification machine) is explained by the number of people who voted without verification. No evidence to prove that the figures if ever true were stolen from Nana Akufo Addo.
Third, if both the NPP agent and the NDC agent and all other agents at a polling station agree to encourage voting without verification by the biometric machine, so long as they are registered voters with properly issued voter Identification cards, then that does not constitute voter fraud or irregularities because the law allows it. How could Nana Akufo Addo and the NPP claim to be true democrats and that casting of the ballot by voters is sacrosanct and central to their petition to the Supreme Court, yet they question the decision to allow voters who through no fault of theirs could not be verified by the biometric machine, but had acceptable forms of identifications and therefore had the right to vote.
The NPP that claim to have very seasoned lawyers and logical analysts and thinkers should know quickly that just as the Supreme Court dismissed its case brought by Ayiko Otoo against the EC (as I predicted in my previous article “The Supreme Court must uphold the Rule of Law” www.ghanaweb.com, 16 September 2012) in the CI 78 case, so also will their disgraceful petition lodged on 28 December 2012 be dismissed.
Most of us were expecting that Nana Akufo Addo and the NPP who claimed to have credible evidence to overturn the declared elections results in their favour to come with formidable or convincing evidence such as:

1. There were difference between votes recorded at the polling stations, constituency and that which the EC collated
2. The differences observed were added to John Mahama's votes.
3. Reduced votes were recorded for Nana Addo at the EC than he actually got by the records at the Constituency collation centre.
4. Some ballot boxes were discovered to have been stuffed with thumprinted papers in favour of John Mahama.
5. Some ballot boxes in the perceived strongholds of Nana were not added or were stolen by macho men.
6. The total number of votes that were added by the EC to John Mahama’s votes on the records at the polling stations, constituencies and the strong room to make him the winner of the 2012 elections.
As alluded by Comrade Kwesi Pratt in a radio interview or discussion with Joy FM (22 December 2012), one cannot foresee any Supreme Court Justice (s) invalidating the December 2012 elections and overturn the will of the voters based on the so called evidence presented by Nana Akuffo Addo, Jake, Dr Mahamudu Bawumia and the NPP legal jokers seeking to annul the 2012 presidential elections.
The NPP leaders (Nana Akufo Addo, Mahaudu Bawomia, Jake Obetsebi-Lamtey, Sir John, Nana Akomea, Karbo, etc), who woefully failed at the polls in the 2012 elections are diabolically seeking to stage a Judicial coup d’état in the December 2012 elections. What these shameless individuals and the NPP legal team have done cynically, is to use the 21 days widow for filing a petition to the Supreme Court after the declaration of elections results, in the pretence of searching for evidence of fraud against the EC, to plot with their Judicial friends to stage an electoral coup d’état through the Judiciary.
The NPP and its leaders should consider this diabolical coup attempt as abortive. There can be no Judicial coup d’état in the 2012 December elections.

David Atugiya
The author is a Human Rights and Social Justice Campaigner, Finance and Management Consultant; Specialist in NGO; Chartered Fellow CMI and Millennium Awards Fellow