NPP Vice-Presidential candidate for the 2012 General Elections and 2nd Petitioner in the ongoing Supreme Court Presidential Election Petition, Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia on Wednesday continued his brilliant display as witness in the case seeking to overturn the declaration of John Dramani Mahama as winner of the December 2012 Elections.
Appearing on the 4th day of being cross examined by lead counsel for John Mahama, Lawyer Tiny Lithur, Dr. Bawumia continued to make a strong case for why results from thousands of polling stations should be annulled as a result of the many constitutional, statutory violations, irregularities and malpractices which characterized the conduct of elections and affected the outcomes in those polling stations.
The early moments of the day saw Dr. Bawumia continue from where he left off on Tuesday when he virtually schooled Counsel for John Mahama on the intricacies and various forms of over voting as evidenced on the face of the pink sheets.
Counsel Tony Lithur who pulled dozens of pink sheets which he claimed were wrongly presented to the court as over-voting was almost always corrected and educated by the brilliant economist who exposed the over voting on such sheets by calculating the number of votes credited to all candidates and the rejected ballots which normally exposed various degrees of over-voting which the presiding officers ostensibly sought to hide by reducing the total votes in the ballot box number.
Out of over 50 pink sheets Counsel Tony Lithur brought out to make a point that they were wrongly categorized as being over-votes, Dr. Bawumia disproved all but four and showed clearly that indeed the pink sheets counsel Tony Lithur pulled out were classic examples of over-voting which affected the outcome of the elections.
Counsel Tony Lithur also sought to make the points that if the ballot accounting sections of the pink sheets were unfilled, it was wrong to categorize them as over-voting. However, Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia pointed out that indeed that was a classic way of hiding and going away with over-voting as that meant that one could not properly vet the sheets to be sure that the integrity of the process was protected.
In most of the instances, the only refuge left for the Lawyer of John Mahama was to blame what he termed administrative errors for the irregularities but the sharp Bawumia always pointed out that that was a conjecture neither he nor the lawyer could make as the two were not present at those polling stations and that the only facts were those present on the face of the pink sheets which clearly showed instances of over-voting.
Obviously unable to make a hard point on over-voting as he had wanted to, Counsel Tony Lithur shifted gears the category of Duplicate Serial Numbers which according to petitioners brought the integrity of the process into doubt. Counsel Tony Lithur sought to make the point that the issue of Duplicate Serial Numbers were an unimportant factor in the process and that Polling stations were only identified by their names and codes.
The witness who continued to make life hard for the lawyer indicated that just as serial numbers on currencies and passports were unique to protect the authenticity and integrity of the currency or passports, so were the serial numbers on the Pink Sheets and that the occurrence of duplicates on the Pink sheets brought the whole integrity of those results into question.
“We all cannot imagine a situation where the serial numbers on currencies are left for people to fill in the numbers. That is how important the serial number is”, Dr. Bawumia said while also noting that monies were spent on the pink sheets to ensure that the pink sheets were authentic and unique. He made it clear to the court that the serial numbers on the pink sheets were the only identifiers of the pink sheets which came already embossed as the code and name of the polling stations were filled by hand and thus could easily be tampered with.
Unable also to make any strong point on Duplicate Serial numbers, Counsel Tony Lithur then moved to the issue of voting without biometric verification. Out of 2079 pink sheets originally submitted by the petitioners on this category, Counsel Lithur could only pull out eight which he claimed were wrongly categorized. Out of this list, Counsel Tony Lithur himself deleted one which he realized was correctly categorized.
Lawyers for the petitioners also indicated that out of the seven, five had already been deleted by the petitioners and were currently not included in the 11,138 polling stations the petitioners were seeking to annul, thus making zero effect to the analysis of the petitioners.