General News of Friday, 19 April 2013
Salamatu Osman, the 23-year-old Electoral Commission (EC) Official who was nabbed with EC pink sheets calling presiding officers to sign the documents has broken her silence over the infamous Savelugu pink sheet scandal, admitting she attempted authenticating the unsigned sheets on the instructions of her immediate boss.
The disowned service person has accordingly spilled the beans over circumstances surrounding her involvement in the pink sheet scandal, implicating the Regional EC boss, Sylvester Kanyi.
According to Salamatu, Akumani Benjamin Akanda, who she directly reported to, directed her to call officials responsible for some selected polling stations to come and complete the pink sheets.
She therefore opened the store room of the EC offices in the Savelugu-Nanton District and retrieved about 30 of such unsigned sheets and in the process of reaching out to the said officials dialled the number of a New Patriotic Party (NPP) activist.
This aroused the suspicion of the NPP activists in the town who stormed her residence and ransacked her room in order to retrieve the unsigned pink sheets.
Salamatu, a graduate of University for Development Studies, Wa Campus who made these stunning revelations in an interview with Accra based Adom Fm, believed her District Officer was also carrying out instructions from the Deputy Regional EC Director, Godfrey Okeley.
They could however not be doing all these if their actions were not officially sanctioned by Sylvester Kanyi, the regional EC director.
Mr. Kanyi who, in the heat of the incident, denied sanctioning such a move could not maintain his stance when reached on phone by DAILY GUIDE on Monday afternoon.
He refused to comment on the matter but denied a media publication that the pink sheet scandal was a cooked story involving him and the NPP Regional Scribe.
According to him, his outfit was open to members of the various political divides describing the story as a concocted report aimed at tarnishing his reputation.
He indicated that he is an EC official with good standing and would not compromise his stance few years to his mandatory retirement, urging all to disregard the contents of the story carried by a pro NDC newspaper.
Though he admitted meeting with officials of the EC in Accra, he refused making public what discussions transpired but said it had no bearing on the infamous pink sheet scandal.
Dr. Clifford Braimah, Northern regional NPP scribe has also rubbished the newspaper story and threatened to sue the paper for defaming him.
He denied cooking up the pink sheet story as reported by the paper and said facts available to him indicated there were attempted manipulations of figures and he had to fight for the rights and interest of the NPP.
The NPP scribe described the contents of the story as a ploy to sway Ghanaians from keenly following proceedings at the Supreme Court.
It will be recalled that three EC officials were dragged to the Savelugu Police Station by aggrieved NPP supporters after news broke out that they were in the region combing for presiding officers to sign pink sheets in order to validate them to open its defence in court.
This move was scuttled by vigilant members of the NPP who intercepted 15 of the unsigned pink sheets from Salamatu Osman in the Savelugu-Nanton District.
According to the visibly shaken EC official, she was carrying on the orders of his boss who requested her to personally invite presiding officers of 18 polling stations in Savelugu and 11 from Nanton.
Her boss, Akumani Benjamin Akanda, in his statement to the police confirmed and said it was on the instructions of the Deputy Regional Electoral Officer through a text message.
The Regional Director of the EC, Mr. Kanyi, when contacted earlier denied sanctioning such an assignment and wondered who could have directed him when he was the boss.
But aggrieved supporters of the NPP insisted it was a deliberate ploy by the EC to cover up its rigging, alleging that presiding officers were paid to sign the sheets.
The timely intervention by the police saved the situation as NPP supporters almost pounced on the Savelugu District Officer, Akumani Benjamin Akanda for his alleged role in the elections they claimed were fraudulent.
They were later transferred to Tamale under the guise of being prosecuted, only to be freed a fortnight ago by the Attorney Generals Department for lack of evidence.
According to the Northern Regional Crime Officer, Superintendent Alhaji Mahama Arhin, the Attorney General (AG) serves as the lawyer to the prosecutors and they had to respect her legal prowess.
He told DAILY GUIDE that no cogent evidence could be established against the accused persons, as such, the prosecution may not be able to establish a crime committed in the case.