General News of Monday, 8 April 2013
The list of the 705 voters submitted by the Electoral commission as being names of Ghanaians registered in various diplomatic missions abroad to vote in the December 2012 polls “was actually forged and contained several instances of multiple names and fake identities.”
This revelation is contained in the main affidavit of the petitioners in the presidential election petition challenging the outcome of the December polls as declared by the Electoral Commission.
On Sunday, the petitioners filed their affidavits with supporting evidence to enable the hearing of the case to begin on April 16th. According to their affidavit filed by Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia, the 2nd petitioner, the list of 705 names from various diplomatic missions abroad furnished by the EC (2nd respondent) contained “51 instances of repeated names to a total of 102.”
Furthermore, many of the names supplied by the EC cannot be found in the general voters’ register presented to political parties before the election. The affidavit says: “that the scrutiny of some of the voter ID numbers supposedly belonging to some of these foreign registered voters could not be found on the general voters register, that is to say, they were/are fake identities.”
Again, the Supreme Court, in response to interrogatories the petitioners served on the 2nd Respondent, had ordered the EC to supply the names and other details of the people it claimed it registered abroad, namely Ghanaians working in our foreign missions, Ghanaians working in certain international organizations, Ghanaian students on government scholarships abroad and soldiers returning home from peace-keeping missions abroad.
That list, according to the EC’s own earlier answer to the petition, should have been 241,524. However, the EC was able to supply the court with a total list of only 2,883, including the security service personnel returning home.
Dr Bawumia’s affidavit gives clear details of the forgery the petitioners claim to have discovered on the list supplied.
The affidavit reads, “in the list of 705 names from various diplomatic missions abroad furnished by 2nd Respondent in response to interrogatories the Petitioners served on the 2nd Respondent, there were 51 instances of repeated names to a total of 102. In all these instances but one, the two ‘identities’ had the same name, same age, same gender, same location, same assigned polling station but different voter ID numbers. In one instance the name Abudulai Enusah Jamila, a 22-year-old, also with New York as location, and a male is found alongside the name Abudali Enusah Jamila, 22-year-old, also with New York location but a female. The two were assigned the same polling station but with different voter ID numbers.”
The petitioners continue, “These fake ID numbers for the multiple names also had a unique pattern. For most of them, the pattern was to add “1” to, or subtract “1” from the 5th digit of the ID number and subtract ‘2’ from the last digit.”
The affidavit gives details of this, “For example one Abudul-Mumin Bashiru (No. 159 on the list) was given a voter ID number of 1852801842. This same name appeared as number 572 on the list, this time, however, with a completely different voter ID number, 1852901840.”
The affidavit also highlights what appears to be a deliberate attempt by the EC to hide the double entries in the 705 list by spreading the duplicate names.
The petitioners say in their affidavit, “For instance, one Abdul Bassit Ibrahim was placed 11th on the list, while the same name, Abdul Bassit Ibrahim is placed 465th on the list. Similarly, while one Paul Yaw Essel was placed at No. 338 another Paul Yaw Essel was at No. 603. ”
The issue of foreign voters in the election, which has already raised a lot of doubt about the EC’s credibility, was introduced into the fray when in response to the petitioners, the EC attributed an increase of the voters’ register by 241,524 to voters it claims to have registered abroad.
It is recalled that in paragraph 6 of the EC’s original response, it stated “In answer to paragraph 12 of the Petition, the 2nd Respondent says that the initial provisional figure it announced of registered voters was 13,917,366. After the conduct of registration of Foreign Service officials, students abroad on government scholarship, other Ghanaians working abroad in International organizations and the late registration of service personnel returning from international peacekeeping duties, it announced a figure of 14, 158,890”
This response from Ghana’s electoral body prompted the petitioners in the case to file an interlocutory demanding the EC to produce the list of the supposed 241,524 Ghanaians it registered abroad for the 2012 General elections.
However, the EC in responding to the order of the Supreme Court only produced a list of 705 Ghanaians it claims to have registered in various locations abroad.