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Opinions of Wednesday, 22 May 2013

Columnist: Sayibu, Akilu

Tsatsu, the NDC legal paramount chief has finished!

After 13 days of boring, repetitive, controversial as well as duplicated and triplicated cross-examination of the Star Witness of the petitioners, Lawyer Tsatsu Tsikata has finally ended his unenviable longest cross-examination at the Supreme Court amidst a hint of coming back to cross-examine again dependent on the outcome of the current auditing of pink-sheets underway at the Supreme Court by KPMG.
For me, lawyer Tsatsu who prior to this cross-examination was described in various forms, has officially finished his cross-examination. What is it that he will have to cross-examine on again that he has already not been able to do in 13 days? The summary therefore is that he has finished, he has finished!
What is left now will be for the petitioners to re-examine Dr. Bawumia to smoothen up the petitioner’s case. When that is done, Asiedu Nketiah representing the NDC and the first respondent as well as the EC will come on board.
Let readers be reminded that the Supreme Court is to find out if there were statutory and constitutional violations in the conduct of the 2012 Presidential elections and to also establish whether those violations were enough to impact on the outcome of the elections.
So far, the petitioners have submitted evidence in respect of 11,138 polling stations to the Supreme Court where in their view constitutional and statutory violations occurred.
The violations are over-voting, voting without biometric verification, no signatures of Presiding Officers and duplicate serial numbers. Though it emerged during cross-examination by the respondents that some packaging errors were committed and admitted by Dr Bawumia, he made it clear that all pink-sheets were used once in his analysis before the Court!
At a point, Dr. Bawumia challenged Lawyer Tsatsu to move beyond cross-examining on packaging errors of duplications of pink-sheets to pointing out a single duplication in the real analysis which the respondents have in their possession.
It must be explained here that Inspite of the open Court challenge that was thrown out to the respondents, they could not and have still not been able to point out a single duplication in the analysis at the time Lawyer Tsatsu ended his marathon cross-examination.
The question to ask is whether Tsatsu was able to discredit the evidence of the star witness of the petitioners.
For me, in as far as the respondents have been unable to point out a single case of duplication in the analysis before the Court; my answer is a BIG NO!
I wish to at this juncture, commend Dr. Bawumia profusely for his mastering of the evidence before the Supreme Court, He has proved that he is intelligent, consistent and honest and can be relied upon as a true witness.
The speed of the case according to some true legal luminaries is that it is not bad. We, the “legally short” people watching proceedings on TV, are suggesting that the speed can be improved.
Ghana is technically at a standstill! Nothing serious is happening as every Ghanaian and our development partners are holding on to see the outcome of the election petition.
The Judges must be commended at this stage for their handling of the case which we are told is the first of its kind in the judiciary and political history of Ghana.
To those of us who have become informal lawyers, I suggest that when the Supreme Court finally rule on the case, we should all accept the verdict regardless of which way it goes. It is not only the petitioners and the respondents who must accept the verdict but all of us as well.
Let’s continue to keep an eye on proceedings as we are currently doing. Let us also be alert and not allow political and legal propagandists to mislead us.
I rest my case.
Akilu Sayibu

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