Bawumia Educates Tsatsu Tsikata

Day eight of the Presidential Election Petition hearings saw Counsel for 3rd Respondents, Tsatsu-Tsikata take his turn to cross examine main witness for the petitioners, Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia after Counsel for the Electoral Commission, James Quarshie-Idun had brought his cross-examination to a conclusion after barely an hour of proceedings on the day.

However, the cross-examination which had been overly hyped by especially associates of the 1st and 3rd Respondents began without the display of brilliance for the Counsel who had to bring himself into receiving education on the elections from Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia especially on what form 1C is and the rules pertaining to biometric verification.

After asking questions on the role of polling agents at the various polling stations, Counsel Tsatsu-Tsikata moved to query the witness on biometric verification.

Tsatsu – Tsikata suggested that Dr. Bawumia’s interpretation of Question C3 on the form which read “What is the number of ballots issued to voters verified by the use of Form 1C (but not by use of BVD)” was wrong. Dr. Bawumia had interpreted the question to mean the number of voters who voted without going through fingerprint biometric verification.

Counsel Tsatsu-Tsikata suggested that form 1C was only for those disabled and traumatized, whose fingerprints could not be recorded or verified. However, the NPP Vice-Presidential candidate informed Tsatsu-Tsikata that that was not the case and that every voter had a form 1C on which the voter’s information was recorded. He added that it was the bottom of this form 1C which was detached and laminated into a voter’s ID card and that the form 1C was in no way for only disabled voters.

This analysis by Dr. Bawumia meant that Counsel Tsatsu-Tsikata had totally gotten it wrong on the use of the form 1C and that indeed the interpretation of Dr. Bawumia on the question C3 was correct.

The lawyer for the 3rd Respondent quickly moved from that line of questioning on what form 1C was and went into suggesting that it was not possible to know if those who voted without verification had the authority to do so or did so illegally.

This Dr. Bawumia maintained it was possible. He explained that on the voters register provided by the Electoral commission, before the elections, clearly indicated per polling station the number of voters who could vote without going through biometric verification and that if one took the polling station register, it was possible to tell how many people on that register could legally vote without going through fingerprint verification. He noted that in most cases, the number of such voters per polling station was not more than two (2).

Dr. Bawumia added that the total number of people per the EC’s voters register who could vote without going through biometric verification was 3,169 while actually the pink sheets had shown that at least 535,000 people across the country were allowed to vote without going through biometric verification.

The star witness added that what the petitioners did therefore was to look at the number of people shown on the pink sheets to have voted without going through biometric verification and contrast that to the number on the particular polling station registers who were illegally okayed to vote without fingerprint verification.

The lawyer for the NDC proceeded to pull out various pink sheets and suggest to the witness that on the face of the pink sheets it was not possible to tell if those who without biometric verification were authorized legally to do so or not but the witness countered every time that a crosscheck of the voters register would solve that problem and tell whether indeed such people were allowed or not.