EC Chases Officers For Affidavits

Electoral Commission is at it again, as it dispatches affidavits it intends to tender in evidence in the ongoing election petition hearing at the Supreme Court to the various polling stations for signatures by the presiding officers.

In one such instance, New Patriotic Party (NPP) supporters in the Nalerigu-Gambaga constituency of the Northern Region scuttled the attempt by the EC to authenticate such documents relating to the disputed 2012 general elections.

The outcome of the 2012 General Elections is being challenged at the Supreme Court, but the EC is alleged to be employing various tactics to absolve itself of any wrongdoing to back its claims that the polls were free and fair.

According to the defeated NPP parliamentary candidate for the area, Peter Wuni, the EC tried securing signatures of presiding officers of four polling stations whose results were annulled on the day of the election for over voting.

He told DAILY GUIDE that the EC in line with its laid down rules annulled the results of Nyayeri, Kulgona, Bomni and Langbinsi Police Station polling stations citing over voting.

The cover of the EC, he observed, was blown when Evans Isahaku, a student of Gbewaa Teacher Training College and former Presiding Officer of Nyayeri was invited by the District Electoral Officer, a certain Bismarck Nteh, on Thursday to sign an affidavit.

Mr. Isahaku on arrival refused to sign the document, claiming it was illegal for him to append his signature on documents whose contents were being challenged at the Supreme Court.

He was reported to have left the district electoral officer’s office and lodged an official complaint with the Nalerigu Police over the attempts by his former boss to perpetrate crime.

The Nalerigu-Gambaga constituency is among the areas Dr Mahamudu Bawumia has presented evidence about, where results were annulled because some people voted without biometric verification.

The other three polling stations where voting without biometric verification occurred, and as a result had their results annulled, according to the evidence presented by Dr Bawumia were Police Station, Langbinsi, where one person voted without biometric verification; Temporary Booth, Bongni, where one person voted without biometric verification; and District Assembly Primary School, Kulgona, where two people voted without biometric verification.

NPP supporters, on hearing the news, accused the District Officer of mischief, claiming he was among the many officials who endorsed the widespread irregularities of the 2012 General Elections.

The Nalerigu Police confirmed the incident and disclosed to DAILY GUIDE that the matter was still under investigations and any one found culpable would be dealt with according to the law.

When reached on phone Bismarck Nteh declined to comment but indicated that he was awaiting the outcome of police investigations to establish if what he had done constituted a crime.

According to some sources, the district electoral officer said he had instructions from his bosses in Accra to get the presiding officers to sign the affidavits.

The five-point affidavit read: “I Iddrisu Evans of Nasiarana’s House Number A 20 Nalerigu make oath and say that I was the Presiding Officer for TB Nanyeri Polling Station Code Number H252302 in the Nalerigu Gambaga constituency.

“When voting ended on 7th December 2013 and we counted the ballots, it was found out that the ballots in the boxes were more than what the machine recorded by one vote.

“As a result of that the NPP agent refused to sign the declaration of results form.

“However I declared the results of the polling station and submitted them to the returning officer.

“The party agents at the collation centre all agreed that the results should be rejected because of the difference.

“No authorization was sought from the regional officer or headquarters”.

The affidavit is not dated, to be sworn on … April 2013.

The Solicitor’s Licence number on it is GAR O5361/12.