EC in affidavit scandal in Gambaga

General News of Saturday, 27 April 2013

Source: Joy Online

James Quashie Idun EC Lawyer

A case has been reported to the Gambaga Police in the Northern Region in which a presiding officer in the 2012 elections has been asked to sign an affidavit saying he annulled the results from his polling station without authorisation from the regional and national office of the Electoral Commission.

The District Electoral Commission Officer for Nalerugu Gambaga, Bimark Nteh is said to have directed Evans Iddrisu, to sign the affidavit, part of which was to certify that he [Evans] was indeed the presiding officer at the Nanyeri polling station and to confirm the circumstances under which the results at the polling station was annulled.

The incident comes on the back of the presidential election petition in which leaders of the New Patriotic Party are challenging the results declared by the Electoral Commission.

Petitioners alleged there were so many irregularities in the 2012 elections and cited over-voting as one of the many irregularities.

The three petitioners are asking the Supreme Court to annul all cases of over votes and other forms of irregularities in the 2012 general elections.

They cited the Nanyeri polling Station in which results were annulled because there were over-votes and prayed the court to replicate the action taken at Nanyeri polling station in all other polling stations where there were over votes.

By over-votes, the number of votes cast at a polling station must either be more than the total number of registered voters at the polling station or be more than the ballot papers issued to voters on the day of voting.

The Presiding Officer at the Nanyeri Polling Station Evans Iddrisu told Myjoyonline.com, he, together with the party agents and the returning officer at the collation centre in Nalerigu Gambaga, annulled the results of the election at the Nanyeri polling station because there was over-vote by one vote.

He said they complied with the instructions given during training that when there is a case of over-voting the entire results must be cancelled.

He also confirmed being contacted on Tuesday by the District Director of EC to come and sign an affidavit over the same issue four months after the election had been held.

He said he did not sign the affidavits but reported the case to the Gambaga police.

The Electoral Officer, Bismark Nteh told Myjoyonline.com the issue is under investigation and would not comment on it.

He would rather the national officers commented on the issue.

It is not clear why the District EC office is now requesting the presiding officer to sign an affidavit confirming that he annulled the election results in the polling station because there was over vote and that he was not authorized to do so.

But the Editor in-chief of the Crusading Guide Newspaper Kweku Baako Jnr has questioned the timing of the affidavits being sought by the Electoral Commission.

On Saturday’s Newsfile programme on Joy FM, Baako in a rather sarcastic manner, questioned whether the affidavits were meant to be used at the Accra Sports Stadium or at the Supreme Court.

He said at a time when the Supreme Court had taken all affidavits from the feuding parties in the election petition and has actually begun hearing it was curious to know why the EC is now chasing for affidavits to be signed.

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