Nana Akufo-Addo, Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia and Jake Otanka Obetsebi-Lamptey yesterday filed an affidavit supporting their petition, challenging the declaration of John Dramani Mahama as President by the Electoral Commission (EC).
This set the battle ground for the case to begin.
President Mahama, the EC and the National Democratic Congress (NDC) who came by way of a joinder, are the respondents in the case.
Yesterday was the Supreme Court’s deadline for the filing of the legal processes as per the court’s directions regarding the memorandum of issues and mode of trial over which counsel for the petitioners and respondents could not agree, whereupon the mantle of a final decision fell on the court.
Supreme Court Order
The process was effected yesterday afternoon in pursuance of the Supreme Court order, and it represented the evidence the petitioners intended using to prove that Nana Akufo-Addo should have been declared winner of the December polls.
By the legal process, the three respondents, the Electoral Commission, John Dramani Mahama and the National Democratic Congress, have up to Friday April 12, to file their affidavits so hearing can commence on Tuesday April 16.
Loads Of Evidence
Two of the counsel for petitioners, Egbert Faibille and Alex Quainoo were very active yesterday, bearing the over 400,000 documents germane to the petition, all of which were expected to be furnished on the nine justices.
The main affidavit, DAILY GUIDE learnt, contained 83 paragraphs, spelling out the case for the petitioners, supported by boxes of documentary evidence from polling stations.
The petitioners are grounding their case on the contents of the pink sheets which bear the results of the polls held on December 7 and 8, and in consonance with the Constitution, electoral laws and other practices applicable in the country.
The six broad categories of infractions are over-voting, voting without biometric verification, multiple pink sheets with the same serial numbers, pink sheets without the signatures of the presiding officer or their deputies, same polling station codes for different pink sheets and unknown polling stations, 23 in all.
Audio, Video Evidence
Lawyers Egbert Faibille and Kwaku Asirifi at the Supreme Court Registry yesterday
Accompanying the documentary stuff yesterday were video, audio and newspaper cuttings to support the position of the petitioners, Nana Akufo-Addo, Mahamudu Bawumia and Jake Obetsebi-Lamptey that an assortment of irregularities, malpractices, violations and omissions in various combinations tainted the results of the election in the 11,842 polling stations, therefore damaging a total of 4,637,305 votes in the process and for which the results must be nullified.
No Verification No Vote
Added to the process filed was a recording of the EC Chairman Dr Kwadwo Afari-Gyan, the returning officer in the presidential election on December 5, 2012, stating the position of the verification which runs thus when he addressed the press: ‘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’.
Nana Is Winner
According to the petitioners, after addressing the challenges which bedevilled the management of the polls through the necessary annulments, Nana Akufo-Addo should earn 59.55%, with the first respondent, John Mahama obtaining 39.17% of the valid votes cast.
They demand therefore that the court declares that John Mahama was not validly elected and so the court invokes its constitutional powers to declare Nana Akufo-Addo the validly elected president.
The affidavit of Dr Bawumia, the head of the NPP research team that undertook the statistical 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 1 st 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 1 st 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 malpractices 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 1 st 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 2 nd Respondent is taken into account, the 1 st Petitioner is the person who ought to be declared as having been validly elected as President of the Republic of Ghana.’
Yesterday’s filing put paid to concerns raised by sceptics as to whether the petitioners were going to be able to meet the deadline as spelt out by the Supreme Court.
By A.R. Gomda