Judges hearing the Presidential Election Petition seek to have a smooth cross examination after parties involved in the petition promised to use the week-end break to sort out the controversy over pink sheet exhibits which have delayed the hearing in many significant respects.
On Day 44, Afari Gyan returns to the dock for another day and another bout of cross-examination. Addison is ready with his punches; Afari Gyan is ready with his wits. Quarshie Idun will look on with a perfect plot to object and distract Addison in the best way possible. Tsikata and maybe Dr Bamba will also be at the touchline ready to poke Addison where it hurts him the most.
With a live texts on Myjoyonline.com, catch the drama, the twist and turns in another intriguing Supreme Court session set to change the country’s electoral process.
The judges have taken their seats high up the podium watching, listening to members of the Bar who are at the moment introducing their team of lawyers to the court.
Dr Basit Bamba is again sitting-in for the Tony Lithur as lawyer for the first Respondent.
Afari Gyan walks into the dock and is reminded of his oath by the clerk.
Quarshie Idun is up. He says they received 547 pink sheets from the petitioners. Out of those there are many that are blank. If the Petitioners wish to proceed with these, they can do so.
Basit Bamba also says they received a list but was not accompanied with any corresponding pink sheet. On Monday morning however they had a cursory examination of the pink sheets given to the second Respondent and as indicated, already quite a number of them are unclear as to the name and the polling station code.
Tsatsu Tsikata says they also had lists but no pink sheets. After a random check of the 547 lists the EC was served with, they realised that some of the supplied pink sheet did not match list provide.
Addison responds. He says they were unable to provide the pink sheets to the first and third Respondents due to genuine challenges they faced with printing of the pink sheets. He goes ahead with his cross examination of witness.
He asks witness to look at the exhibit and confirm if they form part of the duplicated polling station codes. Afari Gyan confirms.
He probes further if indeed the witness has gone to cross check his facts and claims he made last week to the effect that the polling stations with the same polling station codes are as a result of one being used for Special voting and the other for the main election.
Afari Gyan says he has not checked because he did not promise the court he will check.
Addison says he has checked and can confirm that none of them were used as special voting centres. Afari Gyan says he cannot confirm.
Addison takes witness through the list in his possession and confirms one after the other, that no Special voting took place in the places which were bearing the same polling station code.
He takes him to Savelugu, Talensi, Assin Bereku and other places and states emphatically that no Special voting took place in the places the list was suggesting Special Voting took place.
Afari Gyan says he cannot say for sure whether Special Voting took place or not and makes it emphatically clear to the court that he did not say that every duplicated pink sheet code is necessarily as a result of Special voting.
Addison suggests that these polling station codes all went into the declaration made by you
Addison then hands witness an extract of the polling station register from the Mampong Constituency. Afari Gyan says it was necessarily from Mampong.
Addison asks him to compare the pictures in the extract and those from the constituency register and see if they are the same. Afari Gyan confirms.
He asks witness to see if the names Adwoa Gyamfoah and Afoa Abono appear in the register as well as the extract.
Afari Gyan locates the pictures.
Addison then asks witness to confirm if the two persons are one in same persons. Afari Gyan says as far as his eyes can see, they are the same but there has to be a finger tip test and some other tests to show as a matter of fact whether these two persons are one in the same persons.
He says on sight they look the same but they have different ages. Adwoa Gyamfoah is 47 and Afoa Abono, 75. The pictures are the same.
Philip Addison attempts to tender the register with the extract. But Afari Gyan raises an objection. He says it was not the register used for the election.
Addison dares witness to prove that the register the EC provided the parties in soft copy PDF format is different from what the Petitioners have presented in court.
Afari Gyan says he does not know what a PDF format is. He can say however that the EC provided the parties with the soft copies of the register in formats that makes it difficult to be altered.
Addison says it is serious for the EC chair to suggest that the soft copy of the register in their possession is different from the one the EC provided to them. He shows to the court two hard drives which he says contain all the details of the soft copy of the register provided.
The judges one after the other seek further explanation and clarity from the EC boss.
Atuguba announces a short recess to ponder over the new controversy.
The court returns.
Addison asks witness if he has cross-checked the register from his office and the register being tendered by the Petitioners
Afari Gyan says he has. He says the content of the register is the same but the only difference is the arrangement of the persons.
Addison attempts to tender the register. Quarshie Idun raises an objection. He says his witness has not accepted the authenticity of the document. He would only accept if the two documents are tendered.
Tsatsu Tsikata cites the Evidence Decree and says unless it is proven to the satisfaction of the court that this document is authentic it is quite prejudicial for the court to accept this document. He says without the proper basis laid they cannot associate themselves with the document being tendered.
Basit associates himself with the views of Tsikata. He says one basic rule is for the witness to be able to answer questions from an exhibit but that does not appear to be the case. He says if the witness says the arrangement of the pictures in the original document is different from the one in the Petitioners Register then it is a source of great concern.
One of the judges says the issue has been flogged. She says the fact that the first and third cannot cross examine the witness does not mean the Petitioners cannot tender the document.
Philip Addison says he has found the reason for the difference in the arrangement of the two documents. He says the Register for the EC was manipulated after the elections. He posits the EC register was printed on Tuesday July 9 2013 but the Petitioners register was printed November 21 2012. He says the EC’s register was manipulated after the elections and that is why they are reluctant to tender both document.
Afari Gyan says that will not be a good explanation for the difference in the arrangement within the two documents.
Petitioners finally agree and tender both registers. There is no objection.
Addison hands witness another document and asks him to confirm if the date on it is 9th July 2012. Afari Gyan confirms.
Addison asks witness if he has gone through the KPMG report. Yes to some extent, he answers.
Addison asks if witness has a list of some of the 1545 pink sheets exhibits rejected by KPMG. Afari Gyan confirms.
The lists spells out polling station codes, names and exhibit numbers; Addison adds, Afari Gyan confirms.
Addison: 850 out of the lists had polling station codes. Yes and they are clearly identifiable, he answered
Have you been able to identify those 850 codes with your pink sheets. Afari Gyan says he does not see why the Petitioners are only concentrating on 850 pink sheets when the court ordered for 1545 to be perused.
Quarshie-Idun has a difficulty in the line of questioning by the Petitioners.
Nonetheless Addison goes ahead with his cross examination. He asks witness if he can confirm the list of identified polling station names and codes out of the 1545 list brought by KPMG. Afari Gyan identifies.
Quarshie Idun is up again. He says the list given to his witness is different from the ones provided to him.
One of the judges says as far the KPMG report is before the court reference could be made from it.
Addison probes further. He asks witness to name the number on the list. Afari Gyan says it is 1540.
Addison says 850 has been identified with the polling station codes. Afari Gyan agrees. Addison says a further 690 has been identified by the Petitioners and asks witness to confirm. Afari Gyan confirms.
Addison asks if the witness can confirm that 547 pink sheet exhibits have the identity of the polling stations. Afari Gyan confirms.
Addison then offers to tender the list of pink sheets which the KPMG report ‘deleted’. There are no objections raised.
Addison hands another document to the witness and asks him to identify if it is the list of uniquely identified counts by KPMG taken out of the 1545. Afari Gyan says yes.
Addison: What is the total number on the list; 1219 he answers. He adds that there is 15 more which brings the list to 1234.
Do you confirm that list you have compiled includes all the 1219 identified by the Petitioners. Yes Afari Gyan affirms.
Petitioners tender the document.
Addison asks witness if he has seen a list 833 polling stations which the Petitioners submitted to the second Respondent.
Addison asks witness to identify a new list handed to him. He says it is the list of uniquely identified pink sheets which is part of 2678 pink sheets in the president set but not in the Registrar’s set.
Afari Gyan says he cannot confirm that because it was not part of the orders of the court to spell out what was in the President’s set and what is not.
He gets the backing of his lawyer who says he has the order clearly spelt by the court.
Addison suggest to witness that 2678 pink sheets are in the President’s set but are not in the Registrar’s set according to the KPMG report.
The judges asks Addison to move on.
Addison says the 833 are unique polling stations taken out of the 2678. Afari Gyan cannot confirm. Addison suggests to him that they are part.
It was not part of the order made by the court, Afari Gyan says.
Recommendations to Nigeria
Philip Addison says at the request of the President of Nigeria, the UK and US diplomatic mission arranged for an electoral independent assessment team are you aware of this. Yes. I was the leader of that team, Afari Gyan answers.
Addison: You made recommendations to the team; Yes.
Can you recall some of the recommendations. Afari Gyan says he cannot.
Addison offers to refresh his memory: Given the severe lack of confidence in INEC (Nigeria’s EC) leadership and favour of the incumbent the president and EC should reconstitutes INEC. Do you remember this recommendation. Yes, very well. Afari Gyan says.
If given the same opportunity in Ghana will you make similar recommendation in Ghana, Addison asks. Afari Gyan says Ghana has a very good transparent and tested electoral system.
Addison: You mean this recommendation is fit for Nigeria and not for Ghana. Afari Gyan says many countries want to emulate Ghana’s electoral system.
Afari Gyan asks are you familiar with the results in the Ledzorkuku Constituency. He says unless the results are provided to him he will not know.
He says per the results declared by the EC the figures on the pink sheet for the first Respondent is 53,710 on the pink sheets but the one declared 67710, a difference of whopping 14,000.
In the same constituency with the results for the first Petitioner was
40662 on the pink sheet but the results so declared was 30,605 a difference of 10,057 taken away.
Quarshie Idun raises a vehement objection to the line of questioning. He says the correlation between results on pink sheets and the ones that have been declared was abandoned by Dr Mahamudu Bawumia. He says the Ledzorkuku question is not in line with the pleadings by the Petitioners.
Tsatsu Tsikata quotes a letter upon which he attempted to cross examine Bawumia on but which Bawumia retorted and said they had abandoned.
The question are not questions to be put to Dr Bawumia because he did not organise the election. He says the question is part of their pleadings and in the further and better particulars of the second Petitioner. He reads the portion of the further and better particulars in which the mention of Ledzorkuku was made. He says the Returning Officer is right withing answering range and must be made to answer.
Tsikata returns he says the issue of Ledzorkuku was not pleaded. It was only mentioned in a list of constituencies in which the Petitioners claimed to have received calls from places where there were irregularities. He says they will highly be prejudiced if the question is allowed.
One of the judges asks Tsikata to give the date on which he raised the issue about Ledzorkuku and which elicited a response.
Tsikata mentions 14 May 2013. Court resolves to cross check the facts tomorrow.
Afari Gyan reminds the court about his offer to check and inform the court on how the triplicates and quadruplicates of the serial numbers on the pink sheets came about.
Addison says he should save his comments for re-examination.
The judges intervene. They say since he promised to provide that information to court he should well go ahead so that if Addison has another question on his discovery he could ask.
Court adjourns hearing to Tuesday.
From: Ghana|Myjoyonline.con| Edwin Appiah