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Opinions of Wednesday, 5 June 2013

Columnist: Adofo, Rockson

What Repercussions will audited Bloated Pink Sheets ...

..have on the Ongoing Election 2012 Petition?

Many are the NDC sympathisers gone ahead of the KPMG to indicate that the pink sheets supplied to the court are bloated; well in excess of the 11,842 claimed by the NPP. They have started making sarcastic statements about the credibility of the NPP in relation to the bloating of the pink sheets. They think they have cornered or trapped the NPP by the pink sheets and hope to deliver a knockout blow to their dream of invalidating Election 2012 results.

Some have gone out of their own way to gleefully announce that the leadership of the NPP has no genuine case to overturn the results and hence, their petition will fall flat shortly after Dr. Afari Gyan completing his cross-examination. Be that as it may, I wish those full of ignorance about the objective of the petitioners (what they expect the court to look into, why and how), a massive good luck. They will soon have the shock of their life.

Having held a long discussion with my noble legal brains, they conclude that the supposedly bloating of the pink sheets should not necessarily have any adverse ruling on the petition so filed. The petition alleges that there were irregularities, omissions, malpractices and commissions that impacted negatively on the election 2012 results and the final declaration of the winner. The court has the obligation to investigate to find out if actually any such alleged occurrence did take place. If they did, do they constitute statutory violations? If they do, what impact did they have on the final declaration of results and the winner?

The pink sheets being over and above, or being less than the number as declared by the petitioners to be looked into, will not have any greater adverse effect on there being violations committed or not. It is the establishment and the effect of violations if any, that counts as long as all the pink sheets in possession of the court are genuine but not fakes.

Are the pink sheets exact copies of those used at the elections? If they are, then my legal brains advise that neither the petitioners nor the court registrar need to lose a night's sleep over it. The more their numbers is, if they are genuine, and hold various violations, the better it is for the petitioners.

The counsels for the respondents and their assigns have been crying foul about the quantity of the pink sheets in possession of the court. They have been alleging about possible smuggling in of extra pink sheets by the NPP. How insane are they to allege as stated. How on earth can the NPP do that? My legal brains assert that the respondents find themselves unable to justify the alleged irregularities hence, seeking to resort to legal technicalities in case that will help save them from defeat. Nevertheless, they will have to prove there were no such irregularities committed.

The NDC, the Electoral Commission and the President must get serious for once. They were not only given hardcopies of the pink sheets covering the polling stations in contestation but also, a softcopy (CD-Rom). Have they bothered to check the details on the softcopy by running the CD on their computers or laptops? Have the petitioners not posted the entire list of the polling stations in contention on the internet in a PDF format for all to read and copy? If the petitioners have any pink sheets to hide to cause surprises in court, would they have placed the list of violated polling stations on the internet for the whole world to see? To buttress my contention, please readers refer to a publication on Ghanaweb.com under the General News of Friday, 19 April 2013 entitled, "NPP list of polling stations in contention".

The counsels for the respondents are not serious if they think the supposed bloating of pink sheets can play in their favour. Should that situation of bloating of pink sheets arise, the Court registrar other than the NPP has to offer answers? Whatever the situation is, it is the violations that the respondents must seek to contest with but not the number of pink sheets being bloated.

I am sorry I have to end my analytical arguments here. I have just been informed of the death of my friend Mr. Kwame Mensah of Hamburg - Germany . I have not seen him since 1995. He has died in Accra , I understand, three days ago. What is befalling the mighty ones of Kumawu this year? I extend my condolences to the bereaved family especially his wife, Madam Akosua Pomaah and her children. Kwame, Damerifa due, due, due ne amanehunu"

Rockson Adofo