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Opinions of Thursday, 18 July 2013

Columnist: Okoampa-Ahoofe, Kwame

Tsatsu Scores An Own Goal?

By Kwame Okoampa-Ahoofe, Jr., Ph.D.

I just pulled up a news item captioned "Tsatsu's Pink Sheet Strengthens Case That EC Did Not Organize A Credible Election - Ayenini" ( 5/7/13) from the huge pile that sits atop one corner of my writing desk. In the said article, an Accra-based private legal practitioner, or lawyer, Mr. Samson Lardi Ayenini, reports of Mr. Tsatsu "The Thief" Tsikata, counsel for the third respondent in the Election 2012 Presidential Petition, having introduced a pink sheet not originally tendered in evidence by either party involved in the petition, clearly indicating that, indeed, Dr. Kwadwo Afari-Gyan and his legion staff of the Electoral Commission (EC) did not conduct a credible election.

What is fascinating here is the irony of the entire decision on the part of Mr. Tsikata to introduce the said pink sheet into evidence. Obviously, the objective of introducing such evidence by counsel for the National Democratic Congress (NDC), was to prove that electoral irregularities also occurred in Akufo-Addo/New Patriotic Party (NPP) strongholds. If my interpretation of the news report is valid, then it clearly appears that Mr. Tsikata may very well be on the verge of losing the much-touted puissance of his cognitive faculties.

In other words, the best days of his legal practice appear to be well behind him. You see, the whole decision by Nana Akufo-Addo and his associates of the NPP to take their Election 2012-related grievances to the Supreme Court was to rpove that, indeed, Dr. Afari-Gyan and the Electoral Commission had organized and supervised a sham election. In seeking to introduce untendered documents to prove that, indeed, polling stations in Akufo-Addo's strongholds were also marked by widespread electoral irregularities only goes to shore up or forensically vindicate Nana Akufo-Addo's initial contention that, indeed, Dr. Afari-Gyan had been flagrantly, if not criminally, neglectful of his constitutional and legal obligation of conducting a free and fair election.

On the other hand, in seeking to introduce his extraneous pink sheet, Mr. Tsikata's rather infantile objective clearly appears to have been predicated on lamely proving that the electoral irregularities had been so widespread as not to have really benefited either of the two major presidential candidates, namely, Mr. John Dramani Mahama, the presidential incumbent by default, and Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, the electorally aggrieved.

Now, what the steely refusal by Dr. Afari-Gyan to review the presidential election figures shortly after their official and public announcement, at the express and written request of Mr. Jake Obetsebi-Lamptey, the New Patriotic Party's National Chairman, clearly points to is the fact that the Electoral Commissioner was indisputably operating on bad faith. We don't have time here to go into the full details of the epistolary exchanges between Messrs. Obetsebi-Lamptey and Afari-Gyan, except to indicate that the latter's refusal was curiously based on the long temporal process that review of such published presidential election figures would supposedly have entailed.

In other words, Dr. Afari-Gyan does not seem to have trusted the technological swiftness of using the biometric voting machines to reviewing the accuracy of the election results. Now this is curious because shortly after mounting the witness-box before the Atuguba-presided Supreme Court, Dr. Afari-Gyan told the global community, via his televised testimony, that absolutely not a single eligible Ghanaian voter had cast her/his ballot without biometric verification. Of course, he would later contradict himself by telling the court that, indeed, some registrants had been allowed to vote via facial identification because of occupationally lacking adequate fingerprint grooves to be effectively verified and/or identified by the biometric voting machines (BVMs).

The preceding epic ironies notwithstanding, now comes Nana Ato Dadzie, Dean of the NDC Legal Team, gushing effusively that Mr. Tsikata's foot-in-mouth contretemps had actually been a "landmark" and/or command performance. Which is why, of course, this legal also-run continues to vehemently insist, against common sense, that the much-anticipated NPP floor-decking punch, or coup de grace, has yet to be felt by the already punch-drunk NDC meat-heads.

*Kwame Okoampa-Ahoofe, Jr., Ph.D.
Department of English
Nassau Community College of SUNY
Garden City, New York
July 4, 2013