Presiding Officer reports EC to police

The Northern Regional Police is investigating a case in which a presiding officer in the Gambaga/Nalerigu Constituency in the Northern Region has been invited by the Electoral Commission to sign some affidavits relating to the annulment of a polling station results in the constituency in the 2012 presidential election.

According to the police, the Presiding Officer, Evans Iddrisu, reported that last Tuesday, the District Electoral Officer, Mr Bismark Nteh, invited him to sign some affidavits to explain the circumstances under which results of the Nanyeri polling station in which he was the presiding officer was annulled.

Speaking to the “Daily Graphic” in Tamale, the Northern Regional Police Crime Officer, Alhaji Mahama Arhin, indicated that upon receiving the information from the EC officer, Evans declined to sign the affidavits since the elections ended about four months ago.

The presiding officer later decided to report the incident to the police at Gambaga for investigations.

The EC has however explained that its decision to ask the election officers at the Gambaga/Nalerigu polling station to append their signatures on the affidavits was purely on legal grounds.

A source at the commission’s regional head office in Tamale said four polling station results in the Gambaga/Nalerigu Constituency were annulled by the election officers following alleged over-voting by one vote at those stations.

The decision was arrived at after consultations among the presiding officers, agents and returning officers at the collation centre.

“At all four stations, voting went on smoothly after which counting was done and the results declared but it was later detected that at all four stations there were single extra ballots,” he said.

The source claimed that the decision by the election officers to annul the results at the polling stations was never communicated to the regional office by the district electoral officer.

Therefore the presiding officers at the stations were subsequently asked to write their statements explaining why they annulled the results to which all of them did.

He said when the statements were tendered in court as affidavits, the Supreme Court advised that the statements should be duly signed by the officers to which all of them complied except Iddrisu who raised issues with the matter.

The case is in connection with the ongoing presidential election petition in which leaders of the New Patriotic Party are challenging the results declared by the Electoral Commission.

The three petitioners, Nana Akuffo Addo, Dr Mahamudu Bawumia and Jake Obatsebi Lamptey, are praying the Supreme Court to annul all cases of over votes and other forms of irregularities in the 2012 general election.

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

Story: Zakaria Alhassan, Tamale.

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