Lead counsel for the Petitioners Philip Addison will today take his cross examination of the star witness of the second Respondent in the ongoing Presidential Election Petition to day four.
Afari Gyan has thus far admitted to double registrations in the foreign registration, over voting at least on the face of the pink sheets but has played down the significance on duplicate serial numbers which the Petitioners claim was a vehicle used to commit many of the irregularities in the 2012 elections.
He is expected to provide details on the number of ballot papers printed for the 2012 elections.
Myjoyonline.com will as usual bring you a live text on the proceedings in court.
The court is set; the bench is ready and so is the bar.
Afari Gyan is reminded of his oath and Philip Addison begins another day of cross examination.
Addison asks witness if he has brought evidence on the number of ballots printed. Afari Gyan says he has it but asks to refresh his memory. The national total 15,434,968 ballot papers were printed and he gives a breakdown of booklets.
Addison asks if the figure includes the 10 per cent Afari Gyan affirms.
Addison says if the number of ballots from the 11,115 polling stations in contention amounts to 11,511,207 it will be left if barely three million ballots left. Afari Gyan says he does not know the basis on which that claim is being made.
Addison says it is based on the 11,115 polling stations in question and the figures on the pink sheets. Afari Gyan says he does not know the
What is the number of polling station in contention. Afari Gyan says he cannot because the number appears to be changing.
Addison: Yesterday you told this court the final register does not contain double registration. Afari Gyan says by the method the EC used it does not contain double registration.
Addison hands him a document to identify. He identifies it as a “supposed” voters register.
Quarshie Idun raises an objection. He says the document identified by his client has only two pages. He says the EC has tendered 5 documents on the register which could be referenced.
Addison says the document in the possession of Afari Gyan is an extract from the final voters register.
Afari Gyans says he has in his hand a supposed extract of the register. He says for somebody who is attempting to prove double registration should have come with a full register.
Addison says witness can see the constituency from which the register is taken from. Afari Gyan mentions Adaklu.
Quarshie Idun insists on his objection. He quotes part of the EC rules which frowns on extracts of the register being made without the express permission of the EC. He adds that the document is not in evidence before the court and questions cannot be asked on such a document.
He says if the document is taken from the register, then the original register is available and must be brought. Another judge agrees.
Addison asks witness if he has the register for Adaklu Constituency. Afari Gyan says Yes. Addison asks if he is ready to produce it before the court.
Quarshie Idun is up again. He says it is too late for the counsel on the other side to be asking witness to produce the register.
Philip Addison says the witness has confirmed having the register and must be made to provide it.
Afari Gyan says if the court insists on the EC bringing the register, they will but Quarshie Idun is up again, apparently disagreeing with his witness. He says it is too late for Addison to be asking for the register.
Objection is sustained.
Addison goes ahead. He says the figure the witness gave as the total number of ballots printed cannot be correct if indeed the booklets were printed in booklets of 100s 50s and 25s.
Afari Gyan disagrees.
Addison asks witness if he knows that A1 on the face of the pink sheets is the total number of ballots issued. Afari Gyan confirms.
Addison asks witness if he knows that the aggregate figure on A1 is the 11,511,207. Afari Gyan says he still does not know the basis for the question.
Order for pink sheet
Addison asks witness if he has checked on when the order for the pink sheet was made. Afari Gyan says he does not remember telling the court he will check on that information.
Addison suggests to the witness that the order for the pink sheet was made on November 5 2012. Afari Gyan says he would have to check.
Addison again reminds the witness of his earlier comments that said the pink sheets printed abroad came by sea.
Afari Gyan says he did not give any such emphatic evidence. He explains that what he said yesterday was that electoral materials bought from abroad are usually brought by sea and not by air because it was relatively cheaper by sea.
Addison asks if he can now be emphatic and tell the court the means through which the pink sheets came. Afari Gyan says he does not remember.
Addison probes further by asking if he can cross check and provide that piece of evidence to the court.
Quarshie-Idun raises an objection. He says the question being asked of his client is of no relevance and his client cannot be asked to provide any document. He says the burden of proof is on the Petitioners and not on the Respondents.
Judges take some time to confer on the objection and give a ruling
By 6-3 majority the objection over ruled.
Afari Gyan says he can now check and provide the court with the information by which the pink sheet came to Ghana.
Addison goes back to the total ballots printed. He says based on the breakdown given by Afari Gyan the figures doesn’t tally. He says the total is now 15,742,075 and not the 15,434,968 he told the court.
Addison says the figure would have to end in 0 or 5 not the 8 that the EC has said.
Afari Gyan says he is wondering what the little computations all about.
Addison says the only unique feature on the pink sheet is the serial number, Afari Gyan disagrees.
Addison asks what other feature distinguishes one pink sheet from another.
Quarshie Idun says the question has been asked and answered. Presiding Judge Atuguba agrees. He says the question is over flogged. Addison disagrees. He says this is the first time he asking the question on what distinguishes one pink sheet from another. Atuguba tells Addison to watch out because the court will not allow duplications and triplications of the same question but he allows witness to answer the question.
Afari Gyan says there is no need to differentiate between two presidential pink sheet.
Addison insists his question has not been answered. Afari Gyan says he has. The judges agree the witness has answered the question.
Addison suggests to the witness that what distinguishes one blank pink sheet from another is the serial number. Afari Gyan agrees and adds that blank pink sheets are differentiated by serial numbers.
Addison makes reference to the 27,000 pink sheets printed by the EC and asks if the 27,000 was enough for all. Afari Gyan agrees.
Addison probes further saying each pink sheet would have been unique to each poling station. Afari Gyan agrees again.
Addison then asks witness the need in printing another set of pink sheet if the 27,000 pink sheets were enough. Afari Gyan says they had anticipated that there would be more than ten presidential candidates and therefore ordered for 18 set of pink sheets.
Addison says at the time the pink sheets was distributed it was certain that the number of candidates were 8 for which reason there was no need in distributing the second set.
Addison: Are you aware that where most of the constitutional violations and irregularities occurred were places where there was the use of duplicate serial numbers. Afari Gyan says he is not aware.
Addison: Isn’t it possible that if one gets hold of a duplicate pink sheet he can swap the figures on the original pink sheet? But Afari Gyan says it cannot be possible. In elections we don’t talk about possibilities we talk about what happens at the polling station.
Addison moves into serial numbers on envelopes. He says the envelopes into which the pink sheets are packaged have serial numbers. Afari Gyan says it is not all numbers that can be described as serial numbers.
Quarshie Idun raises an objection. He says the question on serial numbers on envelopes has been asked and answered already.
Addison says as far as he can remember, the witness challenged the claim that there was a serial number.
Judges sustain the objection raised by Quarshie-Idun.
Addison moves on. He presents a document to the witness to identify.
Afari Gyan says the documents looks like a tamper evidence envelopes.
Addison asks witness to carefully examine the inscriptions on the three envelopes before him.
Apart from what you read, what else is on the envelope, Addison asks.
Quarshie Idun says the witness cannot answer such a question. He says the bags or envelopes in front of the witness in not in the pleadings, it has not been tendered in evidence and cannot be allowed. He adds that the bags or envelopes are bonafide properties of the EC which makes it curious how the petitioners got those materials.
Tsatsu tsikata joins in the objection
He says all matter of irrelevancies are being used by the petitioners in this cross examination. He says if petitioners want to amend the case and make bags a center of their case they should say so. He argues that the time of this court is being wasted. Matters that have not been pleaded and not been put in evidence are being asked. This kind of cross examination is not consistent with the conduct the court has spelt, he posits.
Tony Lithur is also up and agree largely with the views shared by Tsikata.
Addison says he will not comment on the statements made by the two counsel. He says both have been barred to make comments during his cross examination and will therefore not respond to their queries. On the substantive objection, Addison says it does not matter how the petitioners got the envelopes. He says they could have stolen it or gotten it through any other means, adding there are authorities he could cite which will reinforce his position that it is the relevance of the document or material that is to be tendered that is important and now how the material was obtained. He adds that he cannot be limited to his pleadings during cross examination when the witness before him has not sworn to any affidavits or pleadings. He explains they are bringing this document to challenge the credibility of the witness who said that not all materials of the EC has serial numbers.
Judges ponder over the arguments and will soon rule.
By 6-3 Ruling the judges over rule the objection.
Addison asks if witness can identify by numbers what he has in his custody.
Quarshie-Idun is up. He says the envelop is not in evidence.
Addison says he is not tendering the document. He is only ansking him to identify by numbers.
Afari Gyan asks to make two observations before answering the question. Addison insists that he answers the question before making the observation.
By 8-1 the objection is again over ruled.
Afari Gyan identifies the numbers as 22484, 22485, 22486. He makes his observation that there is nothing on that envelopes which makes it a property of the EC and if it is the property of the EC it remains a big question how the petitioners had access to it.
Judge asks if there are markings on the envelopes of the EC. But Afari Gyan says he cannot tell. He will cross check and get back to the court.
Court goes on recess
Addison provides 30 pink sheet exhibits to the witness and says C3 is less than C1. Afari Gyan says he would first have to check.
Tony Lithur says they have not received numbers 15, 19, 29 and 30 on the exhibits brought before the witness. Tsatsu Tsikata and Quarshie Idun say they have also not received the same pink sheets.
Afari Gyan says it is correct that the numbers in C1 exceeded the numbers in C3.
Addison: You will agree with me that C1 cannot be lifted from C1 to C3 and vice versa. Afari Gyan agrees.
NB C1 What is the number of ballots issued to voters on the polling station register
C3 What is the number of ballots issued to voters verified by the use of form 1C but not with the use of the machine.
Addison: The figure in C3 is something that happened in the election. Afari Gyan says no. C3 could not be used because the variable to which it can be related which is 1C was not taken to the polling station. So C3 was filled in error, Afari Gyan says.
Addison suggests that the 14 in the C3 column of one of the pink sheets is included in the total votes in the ballot box, an assertion Afari Gyan agrees.
Atuguba asks witness if C3 was entered in error as he is saying, what is the consequence of it? Afari Gyan says nothing at all should have written in the column of C3.
Addison asks that by implication all the entries made in C3 was in error. Afari Gyan says for the moment when you see a figure in C3 that is 342 and that figure represents the total number of ballots then any number put in C3 are in error.
Addison then says then the declaration made by the EC was in error because a chunk of the pink sheets had entries in C3 and satisfied the same conditions being spelt out by Afari.
The accounting session and results sheets
Your explanation of the difference between C1 and C3 shows that you don’t understand how the pink sheet works. That is not true, Afari Gyan says.
Signing Pink sheets
Addison: Signing of Pink sheets is a constitutional requirement. Yes My Lord Afari Gyan.
AddiosnAt what point is the pink sheet. After the ballots had been counted and declared.
Addison: What is the reason for signing. To among other things authenticate the results, Afari Gyan answers.
The presiding officer has to sign before handing it over to the Returning Officer.
Addison: In the event that the presiding agent does not sign, does it invalidate the results. No Afari Gyan answers.
Addison suggests to the witness that there are 1,700 pink sheets that are unsigned and not the 905 as the EC would have the world believe. Afari Gyan says he would have cross check and be sure.
Afari Gyan explains that there are cases where the presiding officer is made to sign the pink sheet on the orders of the Returning officer who is to receive the pink sheet at which the duplicate copies may have already been given to the parties.
Addison probes further by saying that per the analogy given by the witness it could be possible for the petitioners to have unsigned duplicated pink sheets whose original may have been signed later by the EC officials. Afari Gyan says its possible.
Addison provides a bunch of pink sheet exhibits to be identified.
Quarhie Idun says he would not allow his witness to be confronted with the set of the exhibits because the exhibit numbers provided by the Petitioners do not correspond with those at their disposal.
Tsatsu Tsikata and Tony Lithur complains of the same anomaly.
Addison expresses surprise at the protests. He admits again that there were mis-labelings on the pink sheet exhibits but says all those pink sheet exhibits have been tendered in evidence in court. He says unlike Tsikata who introduced pink sheets which are not in evidence and not in the KPMG report, every single pink sheet exhibits he intends to introduce is before the court.
Tony Lithur is up. He accuses Petitioners of introducing fresh pink sheets to the witness. He says because the pink sheets were not stamped at the registrar’s office any pink sheet at all can be introduced. He says the court cannot take the issue lightly.
Tsatsu Tsikata supports the assertion. He says he finds it interesting that Addison will accuse him of introducing a pink sheet which is not in evidence. He says if that were the case, it strengthens their position all the more because he has not introduced any pink sheet to the court. He says all the pink sheet he cross examined Dr Bawumia on were pink sheets that were supplied by the Petitioners. So if the lead counsel of the Petitioners will now turn around and say that those pink sheets are not in evidence then the court would have to take a serious look at the matter.
There is standoff. The judges are in the middle of cross fire as Respondents accuse Petitioners of introducing new pink sheets. Tsatsu, Lithur and Quarshie Idun claim some of the exhibits being referenced are not before the court. They were neither filed or served on them. Petitioners insists all the pink sheets they are relying on are before the court. They may have an issue with mislabelings but all of those were filed to the court.
The judges ask Addison if it is possible for him to continue his cross examination on other matters so that when the issue of the KPMG is sorted he will return to these pink sheets which appear to have caused the stand-off.
Addison says he prepared his cross examination for today on issues to do with these pink sheets and will not be able to continue on other areas.
President Atuguba adjourns hearing to Wednesday.