Day Four of the Election Petition Case

1000 All is set for Day Four of the substantive hearing. Petitioners’ chief Witness Dr Mahammudu Bawumia mounts the witness box and is reminded of his oath.
10:12am Lithur remarks he has complied with Supreme Court directive to furnish the court with list of polling station exhibits which has been duplicated. He says he complied with “a heavy heart”.
Presiding Judge remarks that the Supreme Court has received it with a “light heart”.
Lithur continues with his cross examination of the petitioners’ chief witness Dr Mahamudu Bawumia and asks if witness can confirm that the exhibits supplied and which are currently before him are the same exhibits supplied by his counsel.
Dr Bawumia answers in the affirmative.
Lithur says there are same pink sheets which have been photocopied twice to make up the numbers.
Dr Bawumia says indeed there are photocopies of same polling stations but have only been analysed once. “All the 47 polling station is zero impact on the analysis,” he says.
Lithur lifts another set of pink sheets to begin a new trend of cross examination.
Presiding Judge, W. Atuguba reminds the counsel for the first respondent to use the “Bulk Haulage” approach and not the piecemeal approach.
Counsel for the Petitioner, Philip Addison requests the panel judges to provide copies of the exhibits submitted by counsel of the respondents in order to be sure that the exhibits provided to the court by the respondents’ counsel are the same ones they provided to the petitioner.
Presiding judge is reluctant. Tony Lithur interjects and asks if the counsel on the other side is suggesting that they the respondents are deliberately photocopying the pink sheets. He takes serious exception to the allegations by Addison but continues with his cross-examination.
Lithur asks if the bulk of pink sheets provided him has been repeated.
Bawumia answers in affirmative but insists they were entered once in the analysis.
Lithur brings another set of pink sheets which he describes as “lot one”. He sends it for perusal by the counsel on the other side. They do so and send it Dr Bawumia.
Lithur asks can you confirm that in lot one, from 37 to 56 have the copies have been repeated?
Bawumia responds in the affirmative the copies have been repeated but were analysed once. He says even if the copies were repeated more than five times they could only be analysed once.
1100 Lithur brings lot two of the pink sheets and sends it round to be perused by counsel on the other side and then to the witness. He asks if the witness can confirm that the pink sheets have been repeated and whether they have been stamped by the Court.
Bawumia confirms the exhibit numbers are the same but were only entered once in the analysis. He also confirms that the pink sheets have been stamped.
Lithur sends lot three of duplicated pink sheets for perusal. Bawumia affirms that the pink sheets have been duplicated but were analysed once.
Philip Addison says if there are photocopies of the pink sheets of 11,138, it means there could 24,000 of the photocopies of the same pink sheets.
“Are we going to go through 24 thousand pinks sheets. He should have informed us before hand because we didn’t bring our lunch packs.”
Tony Lithur says, well the petitioners ought to have thought about the burden they heaped on them when they provided them with the duplicated pink sheets but hints they will liaise better with the petitioners later on in order to fast track the proceedings in court.
Lithur then asks if the pink sheets in lot four have been repeated. Bawumia answers in the affirmative but says they were only analysed once.
“You will search till thy kingdom come and you will not find that the information has been entered twice,” Bawumia adds.
Presiding Judge cautions witness to desist from rally ground talk.
Lithur: I suggest to you that these pinks sheets were not up to number. You deliberately repeated the pink sheets to make up the number. “If we count one-by-one we are no where the 11,000 pink sheets you told the court,” he Lithur avers.
Bawumia insists that as far as he is concerned 11,138 polling stations with irregularities were presented; they might have been duplicated but were only entered once in the analysis.
12:15 Court goes for recess to have lunch. It resumes at 1:30
1330 Court returns
Tony Lithur continues with his trend of repeated and duplicated pink sheet cross examination. He is now on “lot six”
Lithur posits there is “substantial duplication” of pink sheets by the petitioner to make up the numbers. If we count the pink sheets that have been presented we will not have 11, 138 polling station that have been brought before the court. He says the respondents do have only about 8000 pink sheets as exhibits and not the 11, 138 as claimed by the petitioners.
Bawumia insists there has not been substantial duplication to make up the numbers. He adds the respondent’s counsel has only brought forward 348 polling station of what he claims to be substantial duplication and that even if 6,000 polling stations were taken out of the petitioners’ request, the first petitioner would still win by first round.
1350: Referee
Lithur requests for a referee to count the total number of pink sheet exhibits brought before the court by the petitioners.
Counsel for the third respondent Tsatsu Tsikata also agrees to the proposition by Tony Lithur. He calls for “independent verification” in the presence of all the parties.
Counsel for the second respondent Quarshie-Idun all agrees with the proposition.
One of the judges calls for an aggregation of the number of votes in the polling stations brought by the petitioners. She says if it were the case that only 8000 exhibits were tendered by the petitioners then the court could still go ahead to look at the effect of the votes from the 8,000 polling station on the elections.
Tsatsu Tsikata respectfully disagrees with the judge and argues that the petitioners brought before the court allegations of irregularities in 11 000 plus polling stations and the court asked them to provide better and further particulars. He says if the petitioners failed to provide exhibits covering 11,000 plus polling stations then it is a case of disrespect to the court. He said the count is an important first step to establish the case of the petitioners.
Addison agrees there should be an audit of the exhibits of the polling station and the votes. “For us what is important is the number of votes and not so much the number of polling stations”. He pleads the court to use the exhibits supplied to the court and not the ones being provided by the respondents.
1428: Recess
Presiding Judge calls for a recess so the panel will confer and return with a decision.1530: Court returns
Presiding Judge Atuguba says as far as first, second and third respondents are concerned the total number of pink sheets supplied is 8,621.
Atuguba announces an objection to the auditing of the pink sheets with an option to reapply. He says since all the respondents have the same figure of 8621 then a recount of the pink sheets will not be necessary at that material point in time.
Lithur proceeds with his cross-examination.
He picks up one of the exhibits and passes it round for perusal by the counsel on the other side and subsequently by Bawumia.
He then asks the witness if indeed the pink sheet he is holding is for a parliamentary candidate and not results for presidential elections.
Bawumia admits it was a result for a parliamentary results and not presidential.
“What will parliamentary results be doing in a pack of exhibits for presidential elections in which you claim there have been irregularities,” Lithur asks, suggesting vehemently that it is part of a grande plot by the petitioners to shore up the numbers and strengthen their case.
Bawumia admits the pink sheet is for a parliamentary candidate and cannot immediately explain how it got mixed up with exhibits for the presidential irregularities. He however insists that the information was never analysed.
Lithur passes another exhibit around and suggests that results for a parliamentary election have been attached to exhibits for presidential.
Bawumia then requests the court to give him the opportunity to look into his documents to find out if the exhibit being shown to him by Lithur is not one of the exhibits the petitioners struck out. He says the petitioners upon further auditing of their own evidence reduced the total number of pink sheets with irregularities from 11,900 to 11,138. He suspects the pink sheet before may be one of the pink sheets that was struck out by the petitioners.
Role of Polling Agents
Lithur suggests to the witness that the NPP polling agents slept on the job, that if at all there were irregularities then in fact the agents failed in their statutory obligations for which reason the NPP cannot come to the court and request for votes to be annulled.
Bawumia retorts, saying merely because their polling agents were present does not mean if there were irregularities the NPP cannot demand justice. He says if a watchman sleeps on a job and allows an armed robber to carry out a robbery it does not mean the victim who is robbed does not have an option for redress.
Ghost polling stations
Lithur asks witness how come polling agents are posted to 22 polling stations the petitioners claim are ‘ghost’ or non-existing polling station and why the petitioners are demanding for the annulment of all the figures in these polling stations when in fact these same polling agents were part of the verification process, voting process, counting process in these ghost polling stations.
Bawumia responds and says so many illegal and irregular things happened in public and in the presence of the polling agents but cannot be accepted as legal. He says once the codes provided in these 22 polling stations did not tally and in fact are alien to the codes provided by the second respondent, they are illegal votes thereof and must be annulled.
Over voting in Beautiful Quaye Polling Station,/b>
Lithur brings yet another exhibit of one of the polling stations called Beautiful Quaye and asks the witness what he understands by over voting.
Bawumia explains that over voting is in two forms. He says when the total number of votes cast in a polling station are more than the total number of ballots issued there is an over voting. Secondly there is over voting when the total number of votes cast exceeds the total number of people on the voters register at a particular station.
Lithur asks witness to check the pink sheet for the Beautiful Quaye Polling Station and tell the court the total number of voters on the register in that station.
Bawumia says there is no figure on the pink sheet.
Lithur presses and says if there is no figure on what basis would you conclude there has been over voting.
Bawumia answers and says the figure for the total number of registered voters is an essential ingredient in calculating over voting so if there is no figure there, one could safely assume that there has been over voting.
Lithur in vehemence demands how can you tell there is over voting if you have no figure?
Bawumia answers that zero is a figure and therefore petitioners can assume there is not only an abdication of duty but an irregularity. He adds however that this type of over-voting they have spelt out constitutes a tiny minority of the two types of over voting they have spelt out and provided evidence for.
1700 Presiding Judge alerts the counsel for the first respondent to round his cross examination in two and half minutes.
He does so.
Court adjourns hearing to Tuesday 9:30 am.

Source: Myjoyonline

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