Feature Article of Friday, 19 April 2013
Columnist: Jackson, Margaret
…Risks Losing It All
By Margaret Jackson
April 18, 2013
Is it not very intriguing and strange that Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, the man who claims and is also touted by the NPP as one of the finest legal brains ever to pop up from Ghana is sitting on the side-lines as Dr Mahamadu Bawumia, an economist with no legal training, sweats it out in the Supreme Court (SC) as the lead person presenting evidence in the on-going claims against the 2012 Election?
When Nana Akufo-Addo, the past flagbearer of the NPP, lost the 2012 Presidential Election to President John Mahama and refused to concede defeat, he made the whole world aware that he was going to contest the results in the SC. True to his words, Akufo-Addo filed a motion in the SC claiming that the 2012 Election was fraudulent and that he was prepared to be put in the witness stand to prove his case.
But Ghanaians are seeing the opposite as Akufo-Addo who has the most to gain if the NPP wins the pending electoral case before the SC is rather taking it easy at the court house whilst Bawumia struggles to answer some questions even from his own lawyer.
Dr Bawumia probably is of the view that he can make a pitch to win all this important case for Akufo-Addo with his knowledge of numbers, not knowing that presenting evidence in court to prove your case is very herculean and far different from sharing background commentary.
In 1975, Ghana was blessed when some legal brains were called to the Ghana Bar. Among those called to the Ghana Bar on October 2 that year were Tsatsu Tsikata, Nana Ato Dadzie, Kojo Bentsil-Enchil and Vida Akoto-Bamfo. It was that same year to be precise July 8 that we learnt that Akufo-Addo was the lone person who was called to the Bar on that day. All these persons mentioned have made names in the legal industry in the country.
Therefore, it stands to reason that with this high profile case on hand, Nana Akufo-Addo who stands to be declared president-elect if he wins the case, will step aside as the lead person to present his case and face his own contemporaries during cross-examination.
But for some unknown reason/s Akufo-Addo has ceded that spotlight to neophyte Bawumia whilst he chills among the spectators at the Supreme Court room. This behaviour by Akufo-Addo speaks volumes.
Bawumia who has put his all on the line by agreeing to be the lead person to present the case before the Supreme Court is bound to lose it all if the NPP loses the case. Presenting evidence in a case is far, far easier than being cross-examined.
During cross-examinations, star witnesses are fair game; therefore, Bawumia will definitely cave under loads of questions. Remember Bawumia will be cross-examined not only by lawyers of President Mahama (1st Respondents) but by the lawyers of the Electoral Commission (2nd Respondents) and the NDC (3rd Respondents). And I bet it’s not going to be pleasant at all for Bawumia who will be forced to defend every single allegation that he has made concerning the 2012 Presidential Election.
This case will definitely be a make or break for Bawumia who took the biggest gamble in his life to be the lead witness to the NPP case before the SC. If the NPP loses this case, Bawumia will be toast. No NPP member or sympathizer will ever want to have anything to do with him. Bawumia is the one who told the whole world that he led a team of NPP gurus to unravel the mystery surrounding the so-called electoral fraud, therefore, he is the one who is going to own the pot if it gets broken.
Millions of viewers who have been watching and listening to the proceedings on television and radio (unless you are a die-hard NPP) can testify that the body language of Bawumia does not look too good. Bawumia does not sound like somebody who have the confidence, exuberance and what it takes to withstand the onslaught during cross examination. And if Bawumia cracks, the NPP case is over. And I bet we are coming down to the wire all too soon than anticipated because Bawumia have shown to Ghanaians during the past two days that he does not have it. Period!
Bawumia may be a fine economist; but he does not have enough in his tank to take the NPP where they want to be in this ground-breaking case. Tony Lithur, Quashie-Idun and Tsatsu Tsikata will not go easy with Bawumia because this is a landmark case unprecedented in the history of the country.
Therefore, Bawumia’s political, social and perhaps economic career are all on the line, and he will sink if he this case does not go his way.