"Bawumia has let his side down"

Mr Tsatsu TsikataMr Tsatsu TsikataCounsel for the National Democratic Congress, Mr Tsatsu Tsikata, says the key witness for the petitioners, Dr Mahamadu Bawumia has “fundamentally let his side down” as he consistently contradicted himself in the box.

According to him, Dr Bawumia kept “shifting sands”, contradicting the evidence they (petitioners) swore on their affidavits while testifying in the witness box.

He is, therefore, praying the court not to grant the request by the petitioners to annul some five million votes which were cast during the 2012 presidential election.

Making his oral submission at the Supreme Court Wednesday, Mr Tsikata cited certain statements and testimonies which according to him were inconsistent during the presentation of testimony by Dr Bawumia.

According to him, the petitioners, through their witness claimed to have provided documentary evidence in respect of the 11,842 polling stations which they were seeking for votes to be annulled but after cross-examination of the witness, it was realised that only 10, 119 polling stations had been provided as documentary evidence at the close of the petitioners’ address.

Mr Tsikata also cited the KPMG report which reflected not more than 8,675 polling stations in the petitioners’ affidavit and further described the claims being made by the petitioners as false.

“The counts were clear and the number of polling stations reflected was no more than 8,675, a far cry from what was alleged by this witness. Clearly not a truthful witness…Basically under the terms of the laws of this country, somebody who lacks personal knowledge on the issues in controversy has no capacity whatsoever to give testimonies your Lordships can rely on to make the kinds of declaration that person is seeking,” he said.

In his opinion, the inconsistent statements made by Dr Bawumia disqualified him from being able to give credible testimony on the matter.

“My Lords these shifting sands cannot be a basis for your Lordships properly to accept that the petitioners are giving you a basis in evidence for what they are seeking in their petition. We have shown clearly that you cannot even depend on those kind of numbers for testimony. Because my Lords, within this 10,000 on the face of it; there are exhibits that are outside the range of the affidavits of Dr Bawumia. My Lords, you cannot respectfully at this stage, be requested to use as evidence matters that clearly contradict their own affidavits.”

“My Lords, we submit therefore that the petitoners have not even discharged the evidential burden, not even the burden of persuasion. The evidential burden has not been discharged. We are not even at the stage where evidence has been produced to your Lordships that will enable your Lordships to begin to consider the claims that they are making,” he added.

Mr Tsikata noted that “the petition has been factually empty in terms of not having any supportable evidence being produced.”

He added that, the petition was “legally pathetic because the claim being made have no legal standing especially this claim about serial numbers. The petition has also shown to be poor in arithmetic because you cannot have the same numbers when you are reducing polling stations and certainly, extremely poor in logic and we might add deficient in statistics as well.”

Addressing the nine-member panel, Mr Tsikata prayed the court not to grant the petitioners the request to annul the votes of citizens, which according to them (petitioners) “did nothing wrong” since that would mean imposing a retroactive penalty on voters who stood in line for hours to cast their votes.

By Jasmine Arku/Graphic.com.gh/Ghana

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