General News of Wednesday, 17 April 2013
Dr Mahamudu Bawumia, running mate of Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, Presidential Candidate of the New Patriotic Party (NPP) on Wednesday mounted the witness box to provide evidence in the ongoing election petition case before the Supreme Court.
Dr Bawumia who is the second petitioner in the case, was led in evidence by Philip Addison, lead counsel for the petitioners.
The NPP running mate told the court that the declaration made by the second respondent, the Electoral Commission, in the 2012 elections could not be supported by the primary evidence he had gathered.
He said the NPP presidential candidate formed a committee after the election which was tasked to investigate alleged irregularities in the December 2012 elections.
Dr Bawumia who is prime witness for the petitioners, said the committee had found several irregularities on statement of polls and declaration of results documents known as pink sheets.
“We found numerous malpractices and statutory violations and irregularities as evidenced in the primary record of the elections at the polling station called pink sheets,” he said.
Dr Bawumia explained that the committee examined around 24,000 pinks sheets and found so many irregularities and cases of over voting, voting without verification and other irregularities.
Philip Addison: “Can you tell us what over-voting is about?”
Bawumia: “Over-voting is in two forms. Over voting will arise if the total votes in the box exceeds the voters’ register at a particular polling station.
“Also, if the number of votes in the ballot box is far in excess of the number of voters you have given ballot papers to.
“This type of over-voting is what the EC chairman was very clear on before the elections,” he said.
He said the EC chairman had stated before polls that if even one vote was seen to have exceeded the number of ballot papers issued the results of the polling station would be annulled.
Dr Bawumia at this juncture decided to lead material evidence on the issues he has been talking about, but Mr Quarshie Idun, Lawyer for the EC, raised an objection.
Mr Idun explained that the material facts Dr Bawumia was about to lead in evidence were not pleaded in the petition and therefore wished the Court to stop the witness from going into it.
Lawyer for the first respondent, Mr Tony Lithur also supported the objection, explaining that material facts could not be sneaked in.
Lawyer for the NDC, Mr Tsatsu Tsikata, concurred, saying this was an elementary principle and so witness should not be allowed.
Mr Addison, however, disagreed, explaining that the witness was just giving “an example of the over voting the petitioners are talking about”.
The panel of judges at this point stepped out briefly to decide on the issue of objection.