Hearing of the Presidential Election Petition enters day 35 today.
The Petitioners will argue a motion for the Electoral Commission to provide collation forms of 13 constituencies to aid their cross examination but they are set to meet stiff opposition from the Respondents who claim the request was not pleaded and it is too late in the day.
The dust on the KPMG audit is also yet to settle as Petitioners, having read through the final report of the audit, are set to make an intervention.
Myjoyonline.com will as usual bring you live updates of the banter, the drama in court.
The Judges take their seat and so do the lawyers.
Proceedings begin at 10:48
The lawyers are done introducing their team to the bench.
President of the Panel Atuguba continues with his warning. He says Daily Guide was not singled out for criticism. He explains that the 7-2 verdict issued during the last adjourned day was for the request for an adjournment by the Petitioners and not the request for a soft copy. He says on the issue of soft copy the verdict was unanimous. He says the journalists who misreported the issue has no basis for misreporting and that they could have come for further clarification.
He mentions Sammy Awuku, the deputy Communication Director of the NPP who says reacted to their touch line warning and asks the court if Awuku is present. He says a decision will be taken later.
He warns that their touchline warning goes to everybody- right from the president to the last person in the country.
Petitioners’ Lead Counsel Philip Addison moves a motion for the EC to provide details of Collation forms for 13 constituencies. He cites Regulation 43 (5) (6) (7) of CI 75 to back his arguments. He says during the cross examination of the Second Respondent, Dr Afari Gyan upon request indicated to the court that he could produce the collation forms in respect of the 13 named constituencies. He says following this, a letter was written to the second petitioner but the request was declined and that has necessitated this application. He also cites Exhibit NB1 ruling in an earlier application. He says in the previous application the petitioners came under order CI 47 and was in respect of 22,000 pink sheets and other collation result forms. It was said that the petitioners had copies that they sought to discover from the second respondent. He says the current application has been brought in respect of only 13 presidential election collation results forms. He says it is apparent those forms were not given to the parties that contested the 2012 elections.
Quite apart from this, the petitioners have claimed that they lack some 2,000 pink sheets. In other words the petitioners do not have the requisite pink sheets in respect of the 13 constituencies. He says the Petitioners had been confronted that the petition had been brought in bad faith and that the petitioners are setting an entirely new case.
He cites the second amended answer to the second amended petition by the Second Respondent in which 7 out of the 13 constituencies were named with the Petitioners accused of not providing details. He says it is precisely the reason why the Petitioners did not raise the issue of these constituencies in their affidavits. He adds that the application will show that indeed the first Respondent was indeed not validly elected in the 2012 polls.
Motion is Intended to “assist us to maintain and defend a matter” raised in this petition and the issue of bad faith raised by respondents. He says the Information should not be exclusive to EC and interested parties can apply for same.
He refers to the affidavits of the second Petitioner and cites paragraph 21 where he makes reference to the constituencies in question. He says these constituencies have all been stated in the affidavits of the Petitioners and it is already in evidence.
He says they have been served with an affidavits in opposition filed by the second Respondent but rather strangely the affidavits is in respect of a sheet they have not requested. He says that affidavits talked about summary of collation forms and not the collation sheets the Petitioners are requesting for. “We are in this court for substantial justice,” he reminds the court.
He says the second respondent is a body that organises the election and has custody over these documents and are mandated to keep those documents and make them available when where necessary.
He also makes reference to an affidavits filed on behalf of the First Respondent in opposition to their application. He says the affidavits in opposition of the First Respondent is likely to open the flood gates for the Petitioners to demand for further documents late in the day and may delay the process. That explanation is unacceptable.
He also makes reference to another affidavits from the Third Respondent which accuses the Petitioners of embarking on a fishing expedition. Addison argues that the constituencies in question are already before the court and will therefore be erroneous to say they are embarking on a fishing expedition.
The Second Respondent Lawyer Quarshie Idun is up with a vehement opposition to the application. He makes reference to their answer to the affidavits by the Petitioners. He asks the court to take a look at the document being requested for by the Petitioners. Before then though he makes reference to Exhibit EC 2 which has under it the collation of election results. He says the Petitioners have the documents they are seeking.
He brings out a copy of the results collation form which he says is only a listing of the results at the various polling stations. He says it is just a repetition of results of vote cast at each polling station which are added up. He says the documents the Petitioners are asking for is not “necessary.”
He says it has not been their case that there is a discrepancy between the votes declared by the EC and results on counted at the collation centre. He mentions Dr Bawumia’s testimony of 14 and 15 May in which he quoted Bawumia as saying that discrepancies in results declared at the polling stations and the ones declared by the EC was not “part of their case.”
He says as to the 2000 missing pink sheets, it is the first time he is hearing of it. He says the belated attempt to obtain the documentation has pushed the petitioners into making the claim.
He fears the request, if granted, will delay the process. He urges his Lordship to dismiss a “belated application”.
Lithur is up to add to the arguements of the Second Respondent. He says his argument is based on relevance. He cites Paragraph 24 of the seconded amended petition in which allegations of padding was made but later
He says the request to produce documents outside their particulars is wrong. He adds the Petitioners are asking the EC to give them evidence upon which they will chastise the EC of running a wrong election. He says if the Petitioners are now seeking evidence “Why are you in court if you do not have any basis to be in court in the first place.
He says it is not just 13 collation forms but that those forms have a huge number of polling stations with huge numbers which is likely to delay the process. He says the application is an “abuse of the process and should be dismissed”.
Tsikata is up. He says in his “respectful submission” the application by the Petitioners is “incompetent”. He says the Petitioners reference to CI 75 in their application is without basis because no mention is made of the Supreme Court.
He says the Petitioners are better served by reference to CI 47. He says the provisions there give an idea of the discretionary powers of the court in terms of the production of documents. He says the submission this morning about missing pink sheets settles the matter against the application made. He says before the court there is no issue about 2000 missing pink sheets. He says the court is being asked to deal with the matter on matters filed or alleged to have been filed and not on missing 2000 pink sheets.
He says at this stage of the process the court cannot embark on a fishing expedition on missing 2000 pink sheets. He refers to paragraph 4, 5, 6, and 7 of their affidavits in opposition to the application by the Petitioners. He says the reference to Paragrapgh 21 in the affidavits of the second Respondent cannot be basis for the Petitioners to make a request for collation forms.
Philip Addison is up again, asks for leave to respond to the arguments by the Respondents. He cited a ruling by the Supreme Court in 1996 which it relied on a provision by the High Court for its ruling on CI 47. He argues therefore that the Supreme Court can similarly rely on CI 75 another High Court rules to make a decision on this matter.
One of the judges makes an intervention and asks if Addison is following the right process. He says it is rather late in the proceedings to ask for these documents. He says if the Petitioners had come earlier they would have been considered.
Addison says he agrees in part with the judge but adds that the application is coming rather late because the accusations of bad faith made against them came rather late. He prays the court will exercise its discretion and allow for the production of the 13 documents.
Ruling after Lunch
Atuguba says the court will give its ruling after lunch. The court goes on recess.
Court resumes with Sammy Awuku making an appearance. Atuguba asks him to come forward and explain to the court what he said on Peace FM. Awuku goes forward. He is asked to explain to the court why he is here.
He says he heard the court is searching for him so he is in. He issues an unqualified apology for the comments he made on Peace FM. He explains that he was angered by an NDC representative on the Peace FM kokrooko programme to make the comments he made.
One of the judges intervenes. “You should know the forum you are now. You are not a campaign platform but at the Supreme Court. Your choice of words is very important.”
“I offer an unconditional apology and withdraw the comment which might have embarrassed the court,” Awuku says.
Another judge reminds him of an age-long tradition which says when you defame a person you have to go and beat gong-gong in the same manner you defamed the person, you apologise accordingly.
Awuku says if he happens to have the opportunity on Peace FM which he does every Tuesday, he will apologise.
“What if you don’t,” Atuguba asks, “Is it out of your power to get that opportunity,” he adds.
Awuku says the parties do have a cordial relationship with the stations and he hopes he will be given an opportunity to apologise.
“We want to be clear on what you are undertaking to do”, Atuguba insists, Awuku responds saying at 6:00 pm today he will apologise unconditionally on the same network.
Atuguba asks the Bar if they have anything to say. Philip Addison
He says Mr Awuku has expressed remorse at the words he used on radio and implores the bench to tamper justice with mercy. Addison says the Petitioners brought him to court to apologise personally for those comments.
Tsikata associates himself with the views of Addison. He says even though the bench has the power to subpoena Awuku, he came on the request of the petitioners and has apologized accordingly. He also implores the bench to tamper justice with mercy. He says what has happened to Awuku is an example clear enough to everybody.
Lithur also approves of the comments made by his Counsel.
He says he supports the views shared by his colleagues. He hopes standards do not fall and the respect to the Supreme Court will be maintained.
Court goes on another recess to ponder over the apologies and return with their ruling. Meanwhile, Awuku is still in the dock as the court retires, albeit temporarily.