General News of Monday, 8 April 2013
The petitioners in the Supreme Court case challenging the results of the 2012 Presidential election on Sunday afternoon satisfied the Supreme Court’s order of 2nd April, 2013, by filing affidavits of witness evidence they intend to use to prove their case that the 1st petitioner, Nana Akufo-Addo of the New Patriotic Party, should have been rightfully declared as winner of the December polls and not John Mahama, the candidate of the ruling National Democratic Congress.
The filing of the three petitioners’ affidavit evidence means that the three respondents in the case have up to Friday, 12th April to file their respective affidavits, as well, for hearing to begin on Tuesday, 16th April.
Sunday, Egbert Faibille and Alex Quainoo, two of the lawyers for the petitioners, were seen carrying truck-load of boxes of evidence to the office of the Supreme Court Registrar. Over 400,000 documents in all were expected to be filed, with 15 copies of each, supplied to all parties in the suit, plus the nine justices on the panel.
The main affidavit contains 83 paragraphs, which spells out the case for the petitioners, supported by boxes of documentary evidence from polling stations. Thus, in addition to the handful of affidavits filed, the petitioners submitted evidence in the form of colour photocopies of pink sheets (Statement of Poll and Declaration of Results Form) from 11,842 polling stations, where they are disputing the results as declared.
The petitioners have based their case mainly on the facts and figures on the pink sheets, the official document that the Electoral Commission relied on to declare the results of the presidential poll held on 7th and 8th December. They have also grounded their case on clear breaches of the Constitution and other electoral laws and practices in Ghana.
Also, evidence in the form of video, audio and newspaper clippings were submitted by the petitioners Sunday to support their case.
According to the 3 petitioners, Nana Akufo-Addo, Mahamudu Bawumia and Jake Obetsebi-Lamptey, there are six main categories of irregularities, malpractices, violations and omissions in various combinations which affected the results of the election in the 11,842 polling stations, which have irredeemably damaged a total of 4,637,305 votes in the process, and must, therefore, be annulled.
These are laid out in 24 grounds, which are “distinct and mutually exclusive categories in which no polling station can belong to more than one category, thereby avoiding double counting,” the affidavit by Dr Bawumia, the NPP running mate in the election, says.
Also in his affidavit, the 2nd petitioner, Dr Bawumia, makes a startling revelation by stating that many of the 2,883 names supplied by the Electoral Commission as representing the people who were registered abroad to vote were forged, repeated and fell way below the 241,000 which the EC first told the court it registered abroad.
The six broad categories of infractions are (i) over-voting, (ii) voting without biometric verification, (iii) multiple pink sheets with the same serial numbers, (iv) pink sheets without the signatures of the presiding officer or their deputies, (v) same polling station codes for different pink sheets and (vi) unknown polling stations, 23 in all.
To support their case for annulment of votes in affected polling areas, the petitioners have attached a video tape of the Chairman of the EC, Dr Kwadwo Afari Djan, the returning officer in the presidential election. It shows him on 5th December, 2012, addressing the public at a press conference held at the Ghana International Press Centre, Accra.
He is quoted as saying in the video: “Let me also share with you some of the firm decisions that we have taken together with the political parties: NVNV – NO VERIFICATION, NO VOTING. And by verification we mean everybody will have to be verified biometrically. We have agreed in principle that where the votes found in the ballot box outnumber the persons verified to vote, the results of that polling station will be cancelled”.
The petitioners say that the true result of the 2012 presidential election, after it is cured of all the infractions through the necessary annulments, should see Nana Akufo-Addo earning 59.55%, with the first respondent, John Mahama, obtaining 39.17% of the valid votes cast.
They are therefore asking the court to declare that John Mahama was not validly elected and that the court should invoke its constitutional and statutory powers to declare Nana Akufo-Addo as the validly elected president of the Republic.
Over-voting, as explained in the affidavit, were uncovered in polling stations where either votes cast exceeded the total number of registered voters; or votes exceeded the total number of ballot papers issued to voters on voting day in violation of Article 42 of the Constitution and Regulation 24 (1) of C. I. 75.
To underline the strength of their case, which, according to the issues laid down by the court, the petitioners have shown in clear terms that most of the six categories, can on their own, show that John Mahama, the presidential candidate of the NDC, who was declared winner by the EC on December 9, was not validly elected, which requires over 50% of the valid votes cast.
The affidavit of Dr Bawumia, the head of the NPP research team that undertook the statistics analysis of the election results, says that “if the only violations complained of in this petition were the over-votes in the 2065 polling stations and the votes in those polling stations were annulled as required by law, the 1st Respondent, John Dramani Mahama, would have 49.1% of the valid votes cast, and Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo would have 49.3% of the valid votes cast.”
Furthermore, “if the only violations complained of were voting without biometric verification in the 2,279 polling stations and the votes in those polling stations were annulled, the 1st Respondent, John Dramani Mahama, would have obtained 49.13% of the valid votes cast, and 1st Petitioner, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo would have obtained 49.38% of the valid votes cast.”
Also, “if the only malpractice complained of were the instances of same serial numbers for different polling stations with different results in the 10, 533 polling stations and the votes in the polling stations where these occurred were annulled, the 1st Respondent, John Dramani Mahama, would have obtained 41.1% of the valid votes cast, and the 1st Petitioner, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo would have obtained 57.55% of the valid votes cast.”
Again, “if the only violations complained of were absence of the signatures of the presiding officers in the 1,826 polling stations and the votes in these polling stations were annulled, the 1st Respondent, John Dramani Mahama, would have obtained 49.45% of the valid votes cast, and the 1st Petitioner, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo would have obtained 49.03% of the valid votes cast.”
He goes on to show that, “as a matter of fact, however, these violations, irregularities and malpractices occurred in different combinations in as many as 11,842 polling stations. In the result, I am advised by counsel and verily believe same to be true that what must be taken into account is the impact of the combined effect of these violations, irregularities and malpractices on the outcome of the election as declared by the 2nd Respondent.”
Thus, “if the impact of the combined effect of these violations, irregularities and malpractices on the outcome of the election as declared by the 2nd Respondent is taken into account, the 1st Petitioner is the person who ought to be declared as having been validly elected as President of the Republic of Ghana.”