There are clear indications that the legal arguments and manoeuvrings in Ghana’s Presidential Election Petition case will come to a close on the 46th-day of the hearing.
Counsel for the Petitioners is expected to finish a fresh cross-examination of witness for the Electoral Commission, Dr. Kwadwo Afari-Gyan.
Mr. Phillip Addison signaled he was done with his cross-examination yesterday. But James Quarshie-Idun, counsel for the E.C brought in fresh, last-minute pink sheets during his re-examination of the witness.
But lawyers for the petitioners insisted they need to cross-examine the witness, Dr. Afari-Gyan based on those new sheets.
It is also expected that the Supreme court will give counsel for the parties timelines for filing addresses.
Myjoyonline.com brings to you minute-by-minute updates of the proceedings in court.
10:34 Justices enter. Introduction of parties and counsel being conducted.
Addison tells Afari-Gyan to scrutinse at exhibit X- it contains polling station codes of triplicate serial numbers. The witness does.
Addison tells him that Afari-Gyan said it was not illogical to have triplicates. But Afari-Gyan explains that he said they printed duplicates only.
Addison shows him exhibit EC11A. Addison asks, what is the first polling station on exhibit X? Afari-GYan answers as chief bello islamic school which is the same name on exhibit EC11A.
Addison shows him a pink sheet on the islamic school and asks for serial number to be read out.Afari-Gyan reads them out on both exhibit 11A and exhibit MBP3346. They are the same, 0025195.
James Idun-Quarshie is up. He wants directions from the court to limit Addsion’s cross-examination on serial numbers alone. But court asks Addison to proceed.
Read out question on C5 Addison ask Afari-Gyan. He reads “what is the total number of unused ballots?”. He says it looks like 366 on the pink sheet but on EC11A it looks like 369.
Addison says there is a seven on EC11A but Afari-Gyan insists on what he sees. Addison wants to know if the witness agrees that the figures on the two exhibits are different. Afar-Gyan says yes as far as his eyes can see.
Afari-Gyan says the difference could be because it was photocopied. “It can look blurred when it is photocopied”.
Another set is passed around the table for scrutiny by Respondents.
Do you see the difference between the original and photocopy, Addison is asking.
Afari-Gyan says this set is even more difficult to read. He says there is 377 on the original but he says he can’t see the figure on the photocopy – the petitioners pink sheet.Addison suggests it is the same but witness disagrees.
The set of pink sheets is on Apostolic Revelation Kasena school. On exhibit X which the petitioner list of triplicate serial numbers, the poling station code on it is C141102A. On exhibit 11A1, the name is Apostolic revelation society.
Addison says the serial number of an original is supposed to be in black. the witness says the petitioner’s is also not in black either. Addison says they have not claimed to have the original. He shows him some differences in the two exhibits. There are some cancellations on one but not the other.
GCPP results is written — on EC11A pink sheet but on MBP328 votes obtained is written 0. Total votes in ballot box is 579 but on MBP328 nothing is written of the votes obtained in words but not written on exhibit X- the petitioners copy. There are no signatures on the petitioners copy but there are signatures on the E.C pink sheet – exhibit MBP328.
Addison suggest that EC11A pink sheet is different form EXHIBIT MBP 328. Afari-Gyan admits. Addison suggest that they have different names, the witness says yes but the serial numbers are the same.
Idun wants proper marking of pink sheets to show clearly which is for the E.C and that of the Petitioners. Lithur raises questions on the authenticity of the pink sheet.
Tsatsu is up and suggests the petitioners have doctored their pink sheet to show a difference in the E.C’s. He says the pink sheets of the petitioners are not relevant and does not have the commissioner of oaths stamp.
Addison says Quarshie -Idun introduced pink sheets with a different serial number and they the petitioners are challenging it to prove they are strange pink sheets because there have no copy of it in their exhibits filed with the court.
He says the Respondents did not complain about a lack of a commissioner of oath stamp on the E.C’s pink sheet but he Tsatsu is challenging his pink sheet. Tsatsu explains that the E.C keeping the original will not have the commissioner of oath’s stamp on it.
Lithur counsel for president Mahama says four or five pink sheets used by the petitioners have completely different serial numbers and names from what is already in evidence.
Addison draws the attention of the court that three of the exhibits are in evidence only one is not.
The court rules that the Petitioners are restricted to asking question on exhibit X as far as the matter is connected to the pleadings.
Addison wants further clarity. He says “we need to demonstrate that this pink sheet [E.C] have no place. it is a recently manufactured sheet”, that is non-existent in our database, he charges.
Tsatsu is up. He says the exhibits being used by the petitioners are not in the P-series which deal with serial NUMBERS
Addison shows the witness three pink sheets which bear the same polling station name “Apostolic Revelation Society”. The witness says no and that one bears an addition Kasana. The witness reads out the details on the sheets.
MBQ169 with polling station code C141102B.
MBP3056 with polling station code C061203
MBQ127 with poling station code C061018.
Idun says none of the three are in exhibit X meaning questions cannot be asked on these exhibits.
Addison says the court has gone passed this. The pink sheets are already in evidence and the E.C’s is not authentic. Tsatsu says Addison cannot question authenticity of the sheets that have been admitted in evidence.
Tsatsu exchanges opinions with a judge on the authenticity of the pink sheets used by the petitioners. Justice Atuguba says that is a matter for addresses.
Judge explains: The Petitioners have on exhibit X, pink sheets with three different polling station codes but same serial number. The E.C has presented EC11 to show that two sheets have the same serial number but one doesn’t.
Addison says The Respondents are trying to discredit the third one so as to undermine the Petitioner’s case of triplicate. He says the polling station name on the Respondent’s sheet is Apostolic Revelation Society but the petitioners is Apostolic Revelation Kakasunanka No 1A – the two are different.
Justice Baffoe-bonnie says he is confused.He says the Petitioners gave out a polling station code to the respondents and they brought a pink sheet with the same code which had a different serial number from the petitioners.
Addison says the code is more important than the name because the name when written can sometimes be abbreviated. Nonetheless the official name exists.
Idun says his objection has not been ruled upon but Addison says the court has over-ruled it. Idun wants to know if the court was now Addison.
The court officially over-rules Idun’s objection and cautions Addison to stay within their earlier ruling
Addison wants the witness to compare two exhibits.Afari-Gyan reads it out.Exhibit MBQ000858,with polling station name PBC Cocoa shed Ntenserea and with a serial number 0018708.On exhibit EC11B2, it is PBC Cocoa shed ntenserea but the serial number is 0018706.
Addison says the serial number is the same but the witness disagree.
Atuguba says it is not the same on his pink sheet, signalling lunch time.
Court goes on recess at 12:47pm
Addison wants to know from the witness if the content of the pink sheets he showed him before break was the same. The witness says yes.
Addison says they are the same except that there are no signatures of the presiding officer on the E.C’s but not on the petitioners copy.
He suggests that the pink sheet of the E.C was signed after petitioners were given a copy because their is a duplicate of the unsigned original. Witness says no it could not be.
He says PBC Cocoa shed have the same serial number but the witness disagrees.
They move on to another set 11C.
Exhibit MBE230 is given to the witness. Addison says he wants to show the differences in this exhibit from the E.C’s 11C.
It has exhibit no. MBP002226, polling station code is E041302 and it has the same polling station name on the E.C’ pink sheet. The serial number is 5374.
On the E.C’s exhibit the serial number is 005874.
Addison wants the witness to tell the court if the content of both pink sheets are the same. Afari-Gyan confirms.
Addison wants him to explain why the content are the same but the serial number is different. Afar-Gyan says it is not for him to explain because on the original, the serial number is 5874. Addison says it is because the witness is reading the figure 3 as 8. Witness says he has read it clearly.
Addison says if the court confirms it is 3 it would mean there are triplicate serial numbers but if not it would mean duplicate serial numbers.
They move on to Akatamanso polling station. witness calls out
mbh79,name is Akatanmanso Presbyterian school, serial no. is 0025200.
11D1 on E.C’s list is Presbyterian primary school, the polling station code C140601A with a serial number 0025199.
He says Exhibit number is MBJ 000097, Assembly of God church Ataa Saki B and the serial number is C141401B and the EC’s copy i.e 11D2 Ataa Saki B the code is c141401B, the serial number 0025200
Addison says we have a situation with same polling station name and code but different serial number. But the witness says there are other differences too.
Witness says MBJ000097 the entire C-column is not filled but om EC11D2 there are figures in column C.
Addison says D1 to D4 has dashes but the E.C’s copy is completely blank. the pink sheet has alterations in it and the writing is in pink ink (it should be in blue, the petitioners say) which should not be the case, Addison suggests.
total valid votes 675 in words for the petitioners but totally blank for the EC, afari-gyan agrees.
Total votes in box 619 but it is totally blank for the E.C. The witness agrees.
Addison continues that the name of the presiding officer is Amuzu mark Christian, with no signature, no date and time but the E.C has none of this.
Afari Gyan says the E.C has Amuzu Mark Christiaan but the other copy has only one ‘A’.
Addison says the E.C’s copy and petitioners copy are not the same. Afari- Gyan says the code is the same, the serial numbers are different and there are differences on the pink sheet.
The move to the next one ‘ finger of God’. The petitioners exhibit no. MBAB000020, the polling station name is finger of God church. C140802 is the code and the serial number
On the EC’s exhibit 11D4, the polling station name is finger of God church Kubekro the polling station code is C140802A.
A judge clarifies that there is no A on the pink sheet. Addison says if there is an A then the polling station is different from the petitioners’ exhibit X.
Petitioner exhibit: Exhibit is MBP3253, the name is finger of God church and the code C140802A and the serial number is 0025191.
Addison wants to know if this is the same on the EC’ pink sheet. Afari-Gyan says yes but that was not originally the features on exhibit X or Y. laughter ripples through the court.
Addison shows him a similar set of irregularities on some exhibits.
Idun objects and says the exhibits does not have a commissioner of oaths stamp. Addison says they don’t intend to tender it. They won’t to demonstrate that the exhibit used by Idun to re-examine Afari-Gyan was false.
Lithur says he supports Idun’s objection. A judge says their ruling did not exclude a pink sheet without a commissioner of oath stamp.
Addison says the exhibit is in the KPMG report. it is authentic.
Lithur says the court earlier ruling barred the Petitioners from using an exhibit without a commissioner of oath stamp. The court should not allow Addison to proceed on a pink sheet without an official stamp. If they have a duplicate of one filed in evidence they could use it.
Tsatsu backs the two Respondents. he says if it is in the KPMG report then it should have the official stamp of the commissioner of oath. He suggests that this is a manufactured pink sheet. He adds that there is no way of knowing it is in the KPMG report because the report does not have serial numbers. He says it is possible to use ‘computer technology’ to fabricate pink sheets.
Addison says these are pink sheets served on the Respondents since April. Addison is unhappy over insulting allegations of fabrications thrown at him.
Justice Gbadegbe says parties should show decorum. Afterall they are friends, he says. Atuguba says if they are to take the count of insults, it would take another KPMG audit. Court breaks into laughter.
Lithur says a pink sheet in the petitioners exhibit is not categorised but smuggled in – he withdraws the word smuggled in. exhibit EC11
Justice Sophia says the Respondents should raise their concerns in their addresses. Lithur complains of heckling. Judge Sophia responds that it is normal. She over-rules the objection while Atuguba looks on. He says we are now going to have ruling A and B. Court breaks into laughter.
Atuguba finally over-rules objection.
Addison continues. He says there is finger of God kubekrom A and B with two different polling station codes but the third one is finger of God church in exhibit X.
Witness says they are different but explains there are two polling stations for finger of God A and B but the third one shown to him cannot refer to any station. He says he cannot understand what the petitioners are saying. He says as far as he knows there are two.
Addison says there is a third one in exhibit X. He moves to the next set.
Petitioners exhibit is MBP3258, polling station name is Methodist church zenu B, the code is C140904B and serial no. 0025194
E.C’s same except the serial number which is 0025196.
Addison wants to know if the content are the same.The witness says in B1:what is the number of voters on the register, he sees zero but on the E.C’s he see 789. Addison suggests that on the E.C pink sheet everything appears to have been boldened. EC confirms it.
He says the MBP exhibit has been in the custody of the E.C but they are only challenging the petitioners copy which is a duplicate of their so as undermine the petitioners’ case of triplication.
Addison shows him another two pink sheets. It has exhibit n. MBP3273, TMA primary B polling station and code is C140901B with serial no.0025196.
Idun objects that the exhibit is not in EC 11 which is against the ruling of the court. Addison says it is in evidence.
The petitioner’s exhibit number MBP3264 has a polling station name st. john bosco catholic C141403B, serial number 0026194. the EC’s copy has the same code but different serial number.
Addison wants to know if the content are not the same. The witness reads that D4 (no. of ballot papers rejected) in the petitioners’ exhibit, there is the number 2 and in the E.C’s it is 2. Addison says there is zero but it has been cancelled and 2 is written next to it.
Idun says the exhibits being used are not on exhibit X or EC11 so Addison should not be allowed to continue with this exhibit.Addison says he needs to prove to the E.C factual matters
Atuguba says Addison can make this in his address.
Tsatsu wants to re-examine Afari-Gyan in just 3minutes but Addison opposes it. He says only the second respondent who can do this. The petitioners would be disadvantaged if Tsatsu does this.
Atuguba allows the re-examination
Tsatsu wants to deal with the KPMG report but Addison says he should be limited to pink sheets not KPMG report. tsatsu says if he gives him pink sheets he could use it. He is using the pink sheets in the KPMG to make his case.
Addison says he can give him his pink sheets to use.
Tsatsu Tsikata is allowed to go on.
Tsatsu asks Afari Gyan if a particular polling station had been divided into two (A and B) by the E.C. The witness confirms this.
Atuguba says this question has been settled by the E.C already. Tsatsu responds that it has been disputed by the Petitioners. Atuguba says dispute is not important. Address is. Lithur says he would not re-examine the witness.
At long last the battle of evidence has ended, Atuguba declares. He tells the E.C that telling people to go to court as he does is not that simple. Court bursts into laughter.
He announces that the parties have a 30th July 2013 deadline to finish their addresses.
Lithur suggests that parties be given a few more days to respondent to each party’s argument.
Court adjourns to 31st July 2013.
Petitioners counsel thanks the judges for indulging them. Lithur reveals that the parties will get drunk after all this is over. Idun and Tsatsu backs this gratitude.
Atuguba says he equally appreciates their cooperation.