Petitioners in the ongoing presidential election petition have stated that apart from the use of duplicate serial numbers, there is evidence establishing the existence of pink sheets with triplicate and quadruplicate serial numbers used for the December 2012 presidential election.
In the “written address of counsel for the petitioners”, they explain that “the critical importance of serial numbers as a security feature which prevented electoral fraud, the swapping of one pink sheet for another and the manipulation of results on pink sheets became manifest” during the cross-examination of Dr Afari-Gyan when he was confronted with 17 pink sheets bearing triplicate and quadruplicate serial numbers.
According to the petitioners, the fact that the Electoral Commission ordered the printing of two sets of 27,000 booklets of identical pink sheets and in fact, used both sets in the conduct of the 2012 presidential election, constitutes a grave malpractice which provided the platform for most of the other constitutional and statutory violations, malpractices and irregularities.
They are therefore asking the court to “find that, in addition to the duplicate serials numbers, 2nd respondent used pink sheets with triplicate and quadruplicate serial numbers for the conduct of the December 2012 presidential election.”
“When account is taken of the fact that the great majority of the infractions that ground this petition can be found on pink sheets bearing duplicate serial numbers, there can be no doubt that the use of such pink sheets severely compromised the integrity of the 2012 presidential election and subverted the realisation of the democratic will of the people of Ghana.
According to the evidence, the number of polling stations where this malpractice occurred on its own is 5,591. When account is taken of the polling stations that registered other infractions together with use of duplicate serial numbers, the total number of polling stations affected by this malpractice is 8,987. The total number of votes affected by the malpractice is 3,508 491.”
The address recounts how the respondents were given a rude awakening from their disdain for the malpractice of pink sheets with the phenomenon of duplicate serial numbers used by the Electoral Commission for the conduct of the December 2012 election.
It would be recalled that on the 11th July, 2013, counsel for petitioners, Philip Addison, confronted Dr. Afari-Gyan, with the list of 17 pink sheets that bore triplicate or quadruplicate serial numbers.
Dr Afari-Gyan admitted that three sets of three pink sheets each had the same serial numbers, while two sets of four pink sheets bore the same serial number. These pink sheets were subsequently tendered in evidence through Dr. Afari-Gyan as Exhibit “X”.
When asked to “explain triplicates and quadruplicate serial numbers that we have just been seen in Exhibit ‘X’, Dr Afari-Gyan remarked, “My lords, I cannot understand how there could be triplicates and quadruplicates, I cannot understand that and that is why we have to check.”
However, after checking and in a rather despairing attempt to minimize and deflect the obvious damage that the grave malpractice of pink sheets with triplicate or quadruplicate serial numbers had done to the case of respondents on duplicate serial numbers, Dr. Afari-Gyan, in re-examination on July 16, 2013, tendered as Exhibit EC11, a table, together with Exhibits EC 11 A to 11E3, the purported original copies of the pink sheets listed in Exhibit X.
This, the petitioners state, only confounded matters for the 2nd respondent.
“This is because a critical scrutiny and comparison of the pink sheets set out in Exhibit X with Exhibits EC11A to 11E3 revealed substantial differences between the pink sheets filed by petitioners and listed as Exhibit X, and the purported originals belatedly tendered in evidence by Dr. Afari-Gyan on the penultimate day of trial,” the address read.
The petitioners submitted that the pink sheets listed in Exhibit X were carbon copies of the original copies and were given to the agents of Nana Akufo-Addo at the close of poll and the declaration of the results at the polling station on 7th and 8th December 2012.
“Being duplicates of the original, it meant every hand written entry or mark found on the duplicates must equally be on the original copies. Similarly, the originals cannot have entries on them which will not be found on their corresponding duplicates,” the petitioners said.
Indeed, the Court had noted on several occasions during the course of trial that no one was questioning the authenticity of the pink sheets that the petitioners filed and, further, that the duplicates that petitioners filed were as good as the originals in the official custody of 2nd respondent. That is why upon an application by petitioners for an order directed at the EC to produce for inspection and photocopying all pink sheets in the 26,002 polling stations, the Court dismissed the application, since according to the Court, petitioners had duplicates of the originals and that the duplicates were as good as the originals in the custody of the EC.
Differences between Exhibits:
The petitioners stated emphatically that when they compared the pink sheet exhibits listed on Exhibit “X” as the purported originals of the EC tendered Exhibits EC 11, 11 A1 to 11 D4 series, it became manifest that there had been tampering with the alleged originals of the 2nd respondent and that, in some cases, there had been complete swaps of the pink sheets in question.
“It ought to be underlined that the reason why 2nd respondent virtually got forced to tender in evidence pink sheets for the first time since this petition commenced was because it wished to discredit the damning evidence of triplicate and quadruplicate serial numbers which Exhibit X exposed. To do that, however, 2nd respondent necessarily had to produce pink sheets that were different from the duplicates that petitioners confronted Dr. Afari-Gyan with through their counsel on 11th July 2013,” the petitioners noted.
Citing the example of three pink sheets marked Exhibit MBP – 3246, CHIEF BELLO INT. SCHOOL, with Code C141004A, Exhibit MBP3238, APOSTOLIC REVELATION SOCIETY, with Code C141102A, MBQ 171, BAPTIST INT. CHURCH-ADIGON, with Code C140602, all bear the same pre-embossed serial number, namely 0025195.
However, two of the purported corresponding original pink sheets tendered in evidence by the EC as Exhibit EC 11A, CHIEF BELLO INT. SCHOOL, with Code C141004A and Exhibit EC 11 BAPTIST INT. CHURCH-ADIGON, with Code C1409602, both bore the same serial number as the three duplicates, namely 0025195. The third, however, Exhibit EC 11 A1, APOSTOLIC REVELATION SOCIETY, with Code C141102A had a completely different serial number, namely 0026746.
“It is apparent from the entries on the two exhibits that the handwritings are quite different and that the specific entries are not the same. There are cancellations on the so-called original which cannot be found on the duplicate, a logical and empirical impossibility. On the other hand, a comparison of the two sets of pink sheets bearing the same serial numbers shows that all the entries in each duplicate can be found in the original and, further, that the hand writing is the same for each pair. Quite clearly, Exhibit EC 11 A1 is a recently fabricated document, generated in an attempt to rebut the evidence of triplicate serial numbers,” the petitioners added.
Again, the petitioners cited three pink sheets marked Exhibit MBM–000474, MICHEL CAMP JHS, B, with Code C141105B, Exhibit MBP–3258, Methodist Church Zenu (B), with Code C140904 (B), Exhibit MBP–3264, ST. JOHN BOSCO CATHOLIC, with Code C141404B, and Exhibit MBP – 3254, GARRISON PRIM. SCH, MICHEL CAMP NO.1, with Code C141104, all bearing the same serial number, namely 0025194.
Two of the purported original sets, the petitioners cited, namely, Exhibits EC 11E, MICHEL CAMP JHS, B, with Code C141105B and Exhibit EC 11E2, GARRISON PRIM. SCH, MICHEL CAMP NO. 1, with Code C141104 both bear serial number 0025194 which is the same as those of the petitioners’ set of corresponding duplicates.
“The other two purported originals, however, have completely different serial numbers. Exhibit EC 11E1, METHODIST CHURCH, ZENU (B), with Code C140904B, bears serial number 0025196, while Exhibit EC11E3, JOHN BOSCO CATH CHURCH with Code C141403B bears serial number 0024724,” the address stated.
“An examination of the entries in the two pink sheets in respect of St. John Bosco Catholic Church shows that the entries in these two pink sheets are not the same. The votes obtained in words by 1st respondent as well by 1st petitioner are written differently on the two pink sheets. The name of the polling station is ST JOHN BOSCO CATHOLIC on Exhibit MBP–3264, but on the alleged original copy, it is ST JOHN BOSCO CATH CHURCH. While the polling agents for NDC, NPP and the Progressive People’s Party (PPP) have allegedly signed the pink sheet in Exhibit EC 11E 3, those of the same parties have not signed the pink sheets in Exhibit MBP–3264.
What is significant here is that, since the petitioners’ exhibits are duplicates of the originals, every entry or marking on the petitioners’ pink sheet exhibits must necessarily be found on the originals of 2nd respondent. Similarly, what is not on the petitioners’ exhibits should not be on the 2nd respondent’s original. In other words, the 2nd respondent’s exhibit must have exactly the same entries as the petitioners’. Where that is not the case, as is manifest on most of the exhibits bearing different serial numbers, the irresistible and logical conclusion must be that 2nd respondent has manufactured new pink sheets after the polls. The presence of a different serial number on Exhibit EC 11E 3 is a clear indication that the actual pink sheet filled in at the polling station, is not what was produced in Court by the 2nd respondent,” the address explained.
It continued, “What truly exposes 2nd respondent is that in its attempt to rebut the evidence of triplicate serial numbers by generating a different JOHN BOSCO CATH CHURCH pink sheet, 2nd respondent produces a pink sheet with a different serial number, namely 0024724. In doing so, however, 2nd respondent only compounds its case. For, there are already in evidence two pink sheet exhibits with the same serial number, 0024724. These are Exhibit MBP–3266, ST EMMANUEL MUSLIM B ZION, with Code C141902B and Exhibit MBP-003074, ST. JOHN BOSCO CATHOLIC, with Code C14140A. The pink sheets for these two polling stations have the same serial number, namely 002474. Thus the fabricated St John Bosco Cath Church unwittingly finds company with two other polling stations with the same serial number and, thus, joins the disreputable class of pink sheets with triplicate serial numbers.
“While 2nd respondent filed Exhibit EC 11 E in order to rubbish petitioners’ claim of pink sheets with more triplicate serial numbers, this move rather had the effect of deepening the crisis of 2nd respondent. Petitioners had already filed in this petition two other pink sheet exhibits bearing the same serial number as 2nd respondent’s Exhibit EC11 E1 with serial number 0025196. These are Exhibit MBP–3257 KONKYIRKOPE EBEN. METH. CH. ZENU B, with Code C141001B and Exhibit MBP – 3273, TMA PRIM B, with Code C140901B 118.”
On the issue of four pink sheets bearing the same serial numbers, the petitioners asked the court to examine Exhibit EC 11 E 1, METHODIST CHURCH ZENU (B) in comparison with Exhibit MBP-3258, stressing that an examination would reveal differences which could only have arisen from substituting authentic original copy of MBP-3258.
“It is obvious that the entries in Exhibit EC 11 E1 were made by placing the authentic original under the pink sheet and tracing the entries onto Exhibit EC 11 E1. This is what explains the deepened inscription on Exhibit EC 11 E 1, which cannot be found on Exhibit MBP–3258. Furthermore, while figures entered on Exhibit MBP – 3258 bear no whiskers as it were, all the entries on the so-called corresponding original strangely have these whiskers. Clearly, Exhibit EC 11 E 1 was manufactured after Exhibit MBP – 3258 had been given to the agents of 1st petitioner at the polling station, presumably when 2nd respondent was forced by the evidence on the face of the pink sheets listed in Exhibit X,” the petitioners stressed.
They averred that Exhibit MBP 3268, ONYAI-SHI, with Code C140701, MBH–79, KATAMANSU PRESBY PRI. A, with Code 140601A, Exhibit MBJ – 000097, ASS OF GOD CH. ATAA SAKI (B), with Code C141401B, EXHIBIT MB-AB–000020, FINGER OF GOD CHURCH, with Code C140802, all had the same serial number, namely 0025200.
However, in stark contrast, only Exhibit EC 11 D, ONYAHI-SHI bore the same serial number of 0025200.
“Not surprisingly, Exhibit EC 11D has the same polling station name and code as Exhibit MBP–3268. The entries on the two pink sheets are exactly the same and the handwriting the same, as should be expected of an original and a duplicate thereof and as the most casual examination of the two pink sheets will reveal. Strangely, 2nd respondent filed six (6) pink sheets in response to the four (4) that petitioners filed. And all of the remaining five (5) are completely different from the petitioners’ sets. In contrast to the petitioners’ set of three pink sheets, this set of five pink sheets had the names of the polling stations spelt differently from the names on the petitioners’ set of pink sheets.
They bear completely different polling station codes. The hand written entries on these pink sheets are completely different and the entry of figures on them are equally different. They bear completely different serial numbers from the petitioners’ set of pink sheets. Exhibit EC 11 D1, PRESBY PR SCH, KATAMANSO, with Code C140601A has serial number 0025199. Exhibit EC11 D2, ATAA SAKI (B), with Code C141401B has serial number 0024702 in pink colour, which is not the colour of an original. Exhibit EC 11 D4, FINGER OF GOD CH. KUBEKRO, with Code C140802A has serial number 0025191.
Exhibit EC 11D5, FINGER OF GOD CH. KUBEKRO, with Code C140802B has serial number 0010711. Indeed, the Court will note that 2nd respondent has deliberately tendered in evidence pink sheets with polling station names and codes different from the exhibits that petitioners are relying on in this set of quadruplicates.
Quite naturally, these pink sheets, being pink sheets in respect of other polling station names and codes, cannot be expected to bear the same serial numbers as those in petitioners’ set of four. The entries on the two Finger of God Kubekro pink sheets in 2nd respondent’s set are different from the Finger of God pink sheet in petitioners’ set,” the address concluded.