EC Sweats Again

The Electoral Commission, the 2nd Respondent in the ongoing Supreme Court petition, on Monday continued to face difficulties in its defense of the declaration of John Mahama as winner of the December 7th, 2012 Presidential Elections and had to fall on the support of Counsels for John Mahama, Tony Lithur and the National Democratic Congress, Tsatsu Tsikata for support.

Continuing with his cross-examination of the petitioners’ main witness, Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia, Counsel for the EC, James Quarshie-Idun began the day by attempting to tender in documents in support of their denial that votes were not padded for John Mahama in some polling selected polling stations.

This attempt to tender in pink and blue sheets (collation forms), however, hit the rocks when lead counsel for the petitioners, Philip Addison raised an objection and pointed out that the Electoral Commission was tendering in a Parliamentary collation sheet with respect to the Atebubu-Amantin constituency in respect of the Presidential results.

Counsel Addison also pointed out that the document which the EC claimed was an original document had part of the writing on it in blue ink and other parts in carbon ink raising doubts about its authenticity.

He also noted that some of the documents were in respect to polling stations which were no longer being challenged by the petitioners.

The objection to the documents saw the EC struggling to defend itself and needing help from Counsel for John Mahama, Tony Lithur, who spent several minutes trying to justify why the EC should be allowed to tender in those documents as they were the official custodians of the documents.

The arguments from the various counsels brought in a number of Judges including Justice Gbadegbe, Justice Adinyirah, Justice Dotse and Justice Ennin – Yeboah who queried the EC variously on why it was tendering documents on polling stations which were no longer in contention and why it was tendering documents through a witness of the petitioners and not their own witness.

The Court eventually ruled that the Counsel couldn’t tender in the particular documents through the witness and could wait to tender them in through their witness.

Unable to tender in the documents, Counsel Quarshie – Idun proceeded to suggest to Dr. Bawumia that there was no polling station where the total votes in the ballot box were more than the voters’ register. This the witnessed disagreed stating that there are many instances where that occurred.

The EC counsel ended his cross-examination by suggesting that the total number of people who were legally authorized to vote without going through biometric verification as a result of disability or trauma was 70,889 nationally but Dr. Bawumia stated that from the total voters’ register submitted to the New Patriotic Party by the Electoral Commission only 3,169 voters nationally were authorized to vote without going through fingerprint verification.

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