Cross-examination of witness for President Mahama and the National Democratic Congress (NDC), Asiedu Nketia continues under the counsel for the petitioners, Philip Addison.
Asiedu Nketia yesterday answered questions bordering on instances of over-voting and same serial numbers.
Judges have taken their seats and so have the counsel for all sides.
Addison hands over pink sheet exhibits to Asiedu Nketia to identify. He identifies.
Addison asks him to identify an embossed serial number on the pink sheet form. Nketia admits that it is the only figure embossed but he will not call it serial numbers.
Addison suggests to him that the only reason for which the serial number is embossed is for security reason.
Nketia says he cannot tell because all through the training before the elections there was nothing like serial numbers on pink sheet for security purposes.
Addison reminds him of his analogy he made on deposit slip yesterday and says deposit slips do not have serial numbers because it can be used interchangeably.
Nketia admits that deposit slips do not have serial numbers and so too does pink sheets.
Addison asks witness how many polling stations took part in special voting. Nketia says he is not too sure but mentions 40 as the likely figure.
Addison asks if witness is aware that Special voting took place in other places other than polling stations.
Nketia says Special Voting always takes place in a polling station. On occasions that voting does not take place in a polling station the polling station code is used.
Addison points out to Nketia that Special Voting does not have code number but Nketia retorts, saying special voting uses the code number of the polling station.
Addison hands over an exhibit on a list for special voting and asks witness to identify.
Nketia says the list is without title. He cannot identify.
Addison asks if he has not seen the list of of special voting before. Nketia says he does not normally use them so he cannot be emphatic on them.
Addison asks further if he remembers any of the polling station centre that took part in Special Voting.
He mentions the Joaso Court Hall as one of the venues.
Tsikata raises an objection. He says the list to which his client has been asked to identify has not been properly tendered.
Addison says the list is only to enable the witness refresh his memory.
Judges confer on the objection raised.
Objection is sustained. Addison takes back the document.
Addison asks witness if the EC supplied the NDC with the list of centres for Special Voting. Nketia admits. Addison says further that the list the EC gave to the NDC is different from the list he had early on presented.
Nketia says he cannot say if it is the same or not.
Addison suggests to the witness that the Joaso Court Hall is not part of the centres for Special Voting. Nketia insists it is.
Procedures for Special Voting
Addison asks witness if he is conversant with the procedures for Special Voting. Nketia affirms and he takes the court through the process.
Who are eligible for special voting? Addison asks.
Those whose duties make it difficult for them to vote on election day like the security forces, EC officials, Nketia answers.
Addison suggests once again that Special Voting centres do not have codes and that is why on the forms it is written as Special Voting. Nketia insists they use codes of the polling station.
Addison hands him a form to identify.
Addison asks witness can tell the court what he has in his possession. Nketia identifies the document as a collation form. Addison asks him to name the constituency which bears this collation centre.
Nketia identifies it as Akuapim South.
Addison attempts to tender the document.
Tsatsu Tsikata is up with an objection. He says Addison cannot tender a document of this nature. A collation form is produced by an election official. The EC is in custody of this form and not this witness. The witness cannot authenticate a collation form in respect of the Akuapim South, he argues. He says collation did not form part of the evidence of the witness and cannot be cross examined on it.
Addison is up with a rebuttal. He says the witness has given evidence as to what goes into a collation form. He has given evidence on what goes into collation. “We are confronting him with his own evidence” and tease out the inherent contradictions. He says unlike the previous form, this one has been clearly identified as Akuapim South by the witness.
Judges take a minute to confer.
By a 5-4 ruling the objection is again sustained.
Addison goes on with his cross-examination. On the collation form the results of a special voting is without a code.
Nketia says the results are entered with a code.
Further and Better Particulars
Addison asks witness if he brought the list on the further and better particulars he promised yesterday.
Nketia says his team had genuine problems compiling the list and so he did not bring it.
Addison asks if he had seen the further and better particulars. Nketia says he has part of it.
Addison takes a copy of the further and better particulars and hands it over to Nketia identify.
Tony Lithur is up in opposition. In a very stern manner he says the witness cannot identify a section of a further and better particulars which came in volumes.
Tony Lithur is queried by one of the judges. His conduct per the judge is an affront to the court. It is not clear exactly what he did to the document but the judge says the conduct is contemptuous before the court.
Addison hands over one of volumes of the further and better particulars and he proceeds to ask witness to read the heading. Nketia reads. Addison proceeds to ask him questions on the document.
Tsikata is up with an objection. He says the fact that witness says he has seen the document does not mean he can speak of them. He says any attempt to ask further and better particulars in relation to only one document when it comes in volumes is improper.
Addison rebuts. He says they are not tendering the document. The are only asking to identify it as the further and better particulars. He says the rationale is to contradict the witness’ deposition which said the first and third Respondents only had 8900 pink sheet exhibits. He says in the further and better particulars which is currently before the witness, it is clearly stated in there that the petitioners deposed to 11,800 polling station and so the purpose is only to contradict the figure put out by the witness.
One of the judges says the document may have something to do with the auditing by KPMG which is a matter already in contention. He says Addison should when to tender a document like that.
Addison maintains the document is not to be tendered. It is just to contradict comments by the witness that they received only a little over 8000 pink sheet exhibits.
Tsikata is up again. He says the witness cannot be made to answer a question on a document like this. He says the witness cannot be told to count the list in the document to see if it is over 8000 or not. That will takle the whole day.
Judges take a minute to confer.
Justice Atuguba rules the question can be rephrased without asking the witness to refer to the further and better particulars.
Addison goes ahead and suggests that the petitioners supplied information on 11,842 polling stations. Nketia says cannot confirm that.
Addison asks witness how many affidavits he filed. He says over 5,000.
Addison says the petitioners were only served with 4941. Of these 1278 of the affidavits were duplicates and further 291 were not at all in the 11842 polling stations. 171 were included in 704 list that the petitioners are no longer relying on.
Nketia says he cannot confirm all that.
Ghost polling stations
Addison provides a list of document for Asiedu Nketia to identify. In that list is the names of polling stations with code numbers which the petitioners insists were not part of the original list of 26,000 polling stations provided by the EC.
One after the other, Addison mentions the name and code number of the polling station as given by the Respondent in their answer to the affidavits and suggests to the witness that the names and code numbers are not what was provided by the EC.
Nketia admits the names and code numbers are not what the EC provided but insists that supervised elections were held in those polling stations; those polling stations are identifiable; polling agents of the parties were present and signed on pink sheets and so the petitioners cannot claim to be ignorant of what went on over there.
Addison reminds Nketia on his evidence of bad faith. He says you have given evidence in court about bad faith and suggested that the petitioners only selected polling stations in which the first Respondent won. Is that right?
You are right substantially, he answers.
Are you aware that in the petition brought before the court there are 1,031 polling stations in which the first petitioner won?
Nketia says he cannot confirm that.
Court breaks into recess.
Addison asks witness if he is aware of the no verification no vote rule provided the second respondent prior to the elections. Nketia admits he is aware.
Addison asks if he is also aware of the copious evidence given by the petitioners at least on the face of the pink sheet of people voting without verification.
Witness says figures were bandied around on the face of the pink sheet by the petitioners as people who voted without verification but he disagrees.
Addison presents him with a document to identify.
Nketia identifies the documents as pink sheets of various polling stations. He is asked to name them which he obliges.
Addison asks witness to confirm and identify what is written in the C3 column of all the pink sheet exhibits before him. Nketia confirms and describes the C3 column as voters who are verified by the biometric machine.
Addison asks him to verify the figures in the column C1. Nketia says it is the column in which the number of ballots issued to voters in the polling station register. Addison says the numbers in C1 in all the pink sheet exhibit are higher than those in the column C3.
Nketia says these are all “wrong entries”.
Addison says the regulation spelt out by the second respondent was that if one person went through the voting process without being verified the results be annulled, is that right?
Nketia says he is unaware of that regulation. Besides electoral laws are not given by the Chairman of the second respondent at press conferences.
Addison asks witness if he can recall an interview he granted on Citifm soon after the elections. Nketia says he grants a minimum of two interviews per day and so cannot immediately tell.
Addison offers to play him a recording of the interview to refresh his memory. He says he is ready if only the recording is his voice.
Addison asks the permission of the court to play the recording. Court grants him the opportunity to.
Paraphrase of the interview
In the interview Nketia talks into detail about the no verification no vote maxim. He said in the interview that there is no way people will vote without verification. He added there is no such evidence that people voted without verification. He challenged people to come out and prove instances in polling stations where people voted without verification. He said if that evidence is made available the results of that polling station be cancelled. He says people who presided over voting without verification should be jailed.
Addison asks if the voice in the recording is his. He admits it is voice.
Addison then suggests to him that contrary to his claim that he did not know the penalty for the no verification no voting it is clear in the recording that he knew it and even called for the annulment of results if it can be proven that people voted without biometric verification.
Nketia denies. He says his call for the annulment of results are for irregularities and not biometric verification.
Addison reads portions of the transcripts of the interview in which the witness stated categorically that figures generated as a resulted of voting without verification be annulled and taken out of the national figure.
Addison closes cross examination on Nketia
Addison says he is done with the witness. Nketia wears a smile with open arms as if to say is that all?
Quarshie Idun steps up to begin his cross examination of the witness.
Addison raises an objection to the line of questioning by the counsel for the second respondent. He says counsel is re-examining the witness instead of cross examining him.
Quarshie Idun says his questions were legitimate.
Court rises to ponder over the objection raised.
Justice William Atuguba rules that the counsel for the second respondent has a right to cross examine and not to re-examine the witness and cautions the counsel to be tailor his questions on the evidence adduced by the witness.
Quarshie Idun then asks witness about the voters register and whether the EC provided copies to the parties on CDRom.
Nketia says he cannot readily tell.
Quarshie Idun brings his cross examination to an end.
Tsikata says he will not exercise his option of a re-examination. Tony Lithur also says he will not exercise his right to re-examination.
Quarshie Idun, pleads that if it is convenient to the judges he will open his case tomorrow.
Atuguba grants his request and adjourns hearing to tomorrow.