“Agents don’t run elections” – that appears to be the crux of Dr.Bawumia’s submission in response to cross-examination by Tony Lithur, counsel for first respondent President Mahama.
At the center of exchanges in day five of the legendary election petition in the Supreme Court was one of the pink sheets labeled “Belford JHS A code C122401A”.
Witness in chief for the petitioners, Dr Mahamudu Bawumia, explained that total votes are calculated as the sum of total valid votes and rejected ballots.
In this particular polling station, the total number of ballot sheets issued by the presiding officer was 664, however after counting had been done, it was declared that total votes were 671.
This, the 2012 Vice Presidential candidate for the New Patriotic Party (NPP), Dr. Bawumia cited as “over-voting” by 7 votes and therefore a “clear illegality by second respondents”.
But in his trademark line of questioning- “I am suggesting to you”- Lawyer Tony Lithur has been insisting that this “error” was “simply because he [presiding officer] failed to add rejected ballots”.
Counsel also insisted that polling agents who were present signed and therefore “attested to actual valid votes”. He said there was clear evidence of this in “all the [polling] stations”.
He continued that if the polling station agents “had any complaints” with the results “attributed to each candidate,” they would have “formally filed [those] complaints”.
To this, Dr. Bawumia jabbed that “polling agents don’t run election. It is the EC”. He said by Lawyer Lithur’s claim, he was trying to “shift responsibility” for a free and fair elections to polling station agents.
The star witness added that polling agents “did not attest to results being fair or free” but rather attested to the results as they “being such”.
Dr. Bawumia said the election petition was a product of several “complaints” they had received and this was what the petitioners had “formally” filed in the “highest court in the land”.
The Supreme Court adjourns sitting to tomorrow.