Live Update: Bawumia mounts witness box to lead evidence

Dr Mahamudu Bawumia

Dr Mahamudu Bawumia

It is Day Two of the substantive hearing on the election petition. Petitioners are set to open their case.

Second petitioner Dr Mahamudu Bawumia has mounted the witness box to lead evidence.

Lead Counsel for the petitioners, Philip Addison gets ready to cross examine him.

Bawumia tells the court he is in the witness box today because the declaration made by the second respondent, Electoral Commission in the 2012 elections cannot be supported by the primary evidence he has gathered as the chairman of the committee tasked to investigate alleged irregularities in the 2012 elections.

He says as head of committee he received thousands of irregularities on statement of polls and declaration of results 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.”

It is the record on which basis the second respondent declared results for Mahama.

Philip Addison presents a copy of the pink sheet to the witness; Bawumia elaborates on the key ingredients on the pink sheets ie. statement of poll.

Philip Addison asks whether he found anything wrong with the pink sheets.

Bawumia says he examined around 24,000 pinks sheets and found so many irregularities and names 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 arrive if the total votes in the box exceeds the voters register at a particular polling station.

If the number of votes in the ballot is far in excess of the number of voters you have given ballot papers to.

The second type of over voting is what the EC chairman was very clear on before the elections. He quotes the EC chair as saying that if even one vote is seen to have exceeded the number of ballot papers issued, the results of the polling station will be annulled.

Bawumia decides to lead material evidence in the over voting he has been talking about.

Lawyer for the EC Quarshie-Idun raises an objection. He says material facts Bawumia is about to lead in evidence was not pleaded in the petition and therefore wishes the court to stop the witness from going into it.

Lawyer for the first respondent Tony Lithur also supports the objection. He says the material facts cannot be sneaked in.

Lawyer for the NDC Tsatsu Tsikata, also concurs, saying this is elementary and should not be allowed.

Philip Addisson disagrees. He says we have pleaded over voting and what the we are just giving is just an example of the over voting we are talking about.

Quarshie Idun steps up again in a vehement objection. He says the court must not allow the witness to go into the material evidence. He admits the petitioners pleaded over voting but states emphatically 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,” he says.

Addison is up again. He accuses respondents of shifting goal post from issues about over voting and is now talking about the annulment of the results in polling stations where there is over voting.

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

The court goes on recess and will return with a verdict whether or not to have the Witness, Dr Bawumia go into details with over votes.