The running mate for the opposition New Patriotic Party (NPP) in the 2012 general elections, Dr Mahamudu Bawumia, yesterday made a spirited appearance in the court to the surprise of many including his own party supporters.
A story put out in the state-run ‘Ghanaian Times’ newspaper and authored by its Editor, Dave Agbenu who doubles as General Secretary-elect of the Ghana Journalists Association (GJA), sought to create the impression that Dr Bawumia, a star witness in the ongoing Supreme Court petition, had abandoned the case to take up an appointment at the African Development Bank (AfDB), as head of its Uganda office.
The story headlined ‘Bawumia picks AfDB job’ suffered an instant contemptuous treatment from Dr. Bawumia as he brushed it aside under the glare of the television cameras.
It all started when counsel for the President in the ongoing election dispute hearing, Tony Lithur, congratulated the witness on his supposed new appointment.
“Doctor, let me first congratulate you; I noticed in the papers today that you’ve been asked to return to your job at the ADB [African Development Bank], congratulations” was how Mr Lithur put it.
But Dr Bawumia, a former Deputy Governor of the Bank of Ghana, immediately brushed it aside with a sarcastic answer. “I think you should stop reading too many newspapers” and laughed it off, attracting a spontaneous laughter from the audience in the court room.
Although he did not confirm or deny the story; handlers of Dr Bawumia have told DAILY GUIDE that he has not taken up any such appointment in Uganda.
Instead, he is said to have informed management of the bank that he was not readily available to take up the appointment since the outcome of the elections, for which he sought leave from the bank to contest as running mate, was being contested in court.
Until his nomination as running mate of the opposition NPP for the second time, Dr Bawumia was the Country Director of the AfDB in Zimbabwe.
He, therefore, sought permission to enable him run for political office.
Management of the bank, therefore, thought that since the election was over, he would return and take up his position.
But, Dr Bawumia is reported to have informed them that it was not over yet, since the results were being contested in court.
Until the final determination of the case by the Supreme Court, handlers of Dr Bawumia insist ‘he will not abandon the ship and go nowhere’.
However, Minister of Lands and Forestry, Inusah Fuseini, is urging Dr Bawumia to take up the AfDB job.
The Minister claimed that Dr. Bawumia, as a politician, “has been a disaster” who has been “trying to be someone he is not”.
He believes the job will help restore the little credibility he has left since engaging in active politics from 2008.
Inusah acknowledged on Metro TV that the NPP Vice Presidential candidate had been largely successful as a renowned banker and a statistician.
But Anthony Karbo, former National Youth Organiser of the NPP, insisted that Bawumia would consider the appointment after the presidential election petition had been fully exhausted.
He said his appointment did nothing to undermine the petition because Bawumia remained “fully committed” to the election petition.
He expressed his lack of surprise in view of Dr. Bawumia’s international credentials.
Karbo said Dr Bawumia had put up an impressive performance so far, to the chagrin of the lawyers of the respondents, including Tsatsu Tsikata, and this was forcing them to revise their notes on how to proceed with the case.
“If you get a stupid witness in the box, that’s a field day for a lawyer who is doing cross examination. But here, you don’t have a stupid or an idiot person in the box, you have somebody who has something strong in his coconut and it’s very difficult to break through,” he insisted.
“When you have a tough witness, an intelligent witness, a witness who knows what he is doing, all the responses are consistent.
“I’m telling you, Bawumia is a major nightmare to the NDC lawyers and the legal team, and I can’t wait to see Tsatsu Tsikata cross examine Dr Bawumia. I can’t wait,” Karbo said on Adom Fm
By Charles Takyi-Boadu