How the Elephant Squares Up.
Feature Article of Saturday, 19 January 2013
Columnist: Rii, Jedd
The effects of the post election impasse is already having an undesirable impact on the nation. The New Patriotic Party [NPP], still smarting from the outcome of the elections, made an attempt to get leading statesman Mr Agyekum Kuffour to sideline the inauguration of President Mahama as a disputed candidate.
With such polarising effects, threatening to undermine civil attitudes, the nation cannot afford to have a significant section of its populace, resentful over what is perceived as a rigged election. There is the need to give the NPP, its supporters, and the people of the country, the opportunity to have closure and ensure a confluence of national unity.
What can be said for the rank and file of the new Patriotic Party [NPP] supporters, is the exemplary civil attitude that they have exhibited following the announcement by their leadership, that there were strong suspicions, the elections were rigged. In spite of this, they have been nothing but peaceful and calm. It is such a credit to them, and it clearly shows, that all the talk of militancy and maraud tendencies, which were associated with the party, were all untrue.
As it gears up for the mammoth battle at the Ghana Supreme Court, has the NPP really prepared, and has it put forward the best case it can for its party and the people who support it?
To get a scope of the its case, we have to reduce it to a scale, that will make it more comprehensible. For this purpose, we will assume Mr Akuffo Addo got twelve votes (12), whilst his main opponent received nine votes (9).[example only/] It is the assertion that when the twelve votes, for Mr Akuffo Addo got to the final collation point and was announced, he had received only half a dozen votes and his main rival, was now the beneficiary of an inflated fifteen votes. [illustration only]
Following its investigation, the NPP claim they had uncovered, strong evidence, pointing to these fraudulent infractions. Not only does the evidence show a consistent pattern and clear discrepancy of figures, but also at a scale so significant, it affected the outcome of the elections.
With such evidence, all the party ought to do, is go to court with this irrefutable evidence and present it in a manner which would have left everyone in no doubt. Then it could have waited, while the Electoral Commission [EC] tries to explain this disparity. If they were right, the EC would twist itself in knots and still be unable to explain itself. But the party, buoyed by the evidence gathered , somehow thought it was a brilliant idea to implicate the head of the Electoral Commission, the president and other officials as being complicit in these infractions; a big mistake.
[What were they thinking?] Because of this, the NPP are now legally obliged to explain how exactly, the EC, Mr Afari Gyan and Mr Mahama are said to have been involved. Issues which would have come out, if the Electoral Commission was simply faced with the evidence and asked to explain itself. With the tables now turned, the hunter is going to be the hunted and the adversaries will enjoy watching it twist itself in knots and then deliver some serious bruising.
For its part , the Electoral Commission is legally asking the NPP for specific instances, of its allegations, while defence counsel for Mr Mahama are now stated to have lined up and intend to field in excess of four thousand witnesses.
All these would have been avoided if the NPP, had kept the evidence in its “de facto” state without any accusations. It should have stated the fact that the president cannot be sued and asked to defer any action against the president, until the issue of the second respondent has been dealt with. If they were successful in their action against the Electoral Commission, the obvious action would have been to employ the legislation for removing a president, one condition of which is following a rigged election.
It is clear that the defence for Mr Mahama has failed to use the obvious defence of immunity for the president and it also clear from the defence being mounted that it intends to employ a protracted defence. The question is, why would Defence Counsel choose to employ a rather long and circuitous defence, when a simple one exists to serve that purpose?
This is no longer about Mr Akuffo Addo and a few individuals who wanted to be president or be in government. It is now a search for the truth, the verification of a mandate and the reinstating of confidence in the rule of law. It must not be personalised and it must not be taken lightly. A lot of tax payers money is already being sunk into this case and the people will not want any lackadaisical attempts, half baked efforts or listless shenanigans, geared towards making the whole process a farce. The nation is watching and the world. For Mr Akuffo Addo and his team, the allegations must hold some truth, to save turning this episode into their political swansong.
For the purpose of bringing clarity and expediency to the truth, Mr Akuffo Addo and his team should retract all allegations against specific individuals in the suit. For President Mahama, it must be stated that, he occupies the presidency, which is the subject of the dispute. It is unlikely that counsel will use four thousand, eight hundred witnesses to say that he is not.
For the Electoral Commission, it is even much more simple; ‘Here is the evidence that our voters gave us “X” votes, but the evidence shows that you gave us “Y” votes. We call it cheating. What would you call it?’