ELECTION PETITION: Day 2 Of Hearing…Bawumia In The Witness Box

Day 2 of the hearing of the landmark electoral petition which is contesting the declaration of President John Dramani Mahama as the winner of the December 2012 presidential polls is underway at the Supreme Court in Accra with one of the three petitioners, Dr Mahamadu Bawumia giving his evidence.

A couple of hours ago, the nine-member panel overruled an objection raised by the respondents; the Electoral Commission represented by Lawyer Quarshie-Idun, the NDC represented by Tsatsu Tsikata, and President Mahama represented by Tony Lithur.

Dr Bawumia was then leading material evidence in the over voting he claimed had occurred during the elections.

According to Lawyer Quarshie-Idun, the material facts Dr Bawumia was about to lead in evidence was not pleaded in the petition and therefore prayed the court to stop the witness from going into it.

Tony Lithur, representing President Mahama (first respondent) also supported the objection saying material facts cannot be “sneaked” in.

Counsel for the NDC, Tsatsu Tsikata, also concurred, saying this is “elementary” and should not be allowed.

After lead counsel for the petitioners, Philip Addisson disagreed stressing “we are just giving is just an example of the over voting we are talking about”, Lawyer for the EC stepped in again saying the court must not allow the witness to go into the material evidence.

Whiles admitting that the petitioners pleaded over voting, he however averred that the petitioners did not call for an annulment of the said over votes in their petition.

“If they are going to give evidence of annulment, they should have pleaded so we can answer,” Lawyer Quarshie-Idun.

The petitioners lead counsel then came in again accusing the respondents of shifting the goal post from issues about over voting to annulment of the results in polling stations where there is over voting.

He quoted portions of the petition which identified over-voting as one of the irregularities and the request by the petitioners to have the results of polling stations with over votes annulled.

After some back and forth between the lawyers, the court decided to go on recess and returned some 30minutes later overruling the objection raised by the respondents. The court then gave the witness, Dr Bawumia, leave to lead material evidence in the over voting he alleges occurred.

Hearing continues.

The Petitioners in this high profile case which has a significant historical event in Ghana’s legal and political culture are, the main opposition New Patriotic Party’s 2012 Flagbearer Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo Addo, his running mate Dr Mahmoud Bawumia and the party’s National Chairman Jake Obetsebi-Lamptey.

The petitioners argue that the EC conspired with the incumbent party-National Democratic Congress-to steal the December 7 and 8 presidential elections for President John Mahama.

They are therefore praying the Court to set aside and nullify the EC’s results which declared President Mahama as winner of the presidential poll.

They are therefore urging the court to annul 4,670,504 valid votes and subsequently declare the NPP presidential candidate, as the one who won the December presidential election.