Courtroom proceedings have never come so handy for the majority of Ghanaians who have not set foot in any court room in the country before, let alone the highest court of the land.
The historic live telecast of the election petition at the Supreme Court however came with added interesting side details, such as the behaviors, facial expressions, composure and reactions of persons in the court room, that would have otherwise been kept out of public view, save those who find their way into the court room.
Yesterday Ghanaians discovered their own Alex Ferguson in the person of Dr. Afari Gyan, chairman of Ghana’s Electoral Commission for chewing gum throughout the proceedings of the Supreme Court. Sir Alex Ferguson, boss of Man United football team, has over the years been identified with his cherished habit of chewing gum during football matches, especially when the game gets tough. Dr. Afari Gyan has been known to be a calm and collected person, and is admired by many people, for the ease with which he has handled elections over the years.
It is an open secret that the EC chairman relaxes in the heat of an election by watching cartoons, but chewing gum for hours on end is one new habit that became evident yesterday, as he intermittently appeared on television screens across the country.
Even though coverage of the proceedings had with it some restrictions prescribed by the Supreme Court, the reactions, facial expressions and general court atmosphere was not greatly affected.
Often, the screen shots were on Dr. Afari Gyan, who was mostly seen busily chewing gum, as Dr. Bawumia gave evidence on alleged irregularities in the voting process. Each time Dr. Bawumia mentioned an instance of irregularity, Dr. Afari Gyan was seen hurriedly chewing his gum, just like Alex Ferguson would, when he is in a tough match.
It was however not clear whether he brought a pack of gum to the court room or chewed the same gum throughout the court sitting of over five hours.