Afari-Gyan's testimony was ‘internally incoherent’- Kweku Baako

In the assessment of Malik Kweku Baako, the managing editor of the New Crusading Guide newspaper, the performance of Dr. Kwadwo Afari-Gyan – witness for the Electoral Commission (E.C) – under cross examination, was ‘internally incoherent’.
Speaking on Multi TV and Joy Fm’s Newsfile Saturday, Mr. Baako said Dr. Afari-Gyan’s explanation of classical over voting was questionable.
The EC during cross examination, defined over voting in a ‘classical’ sense and said this would occur when the number of ballots in the box was more than the number of registered voters at a particular polling station. In such a situation the results are to be automatically cancelled.
Justice Baffoe-Bonney said this situation was unlikely because people died, traveled or simply just did not vote on election day. It would be impossible for a polling station to record a 100% turn-out or more – a situation that could result in over-voting, the judge pointed out.
The petitioners have also defined it as when the number of ballots in the box was more than eligible voters verified.
During his testimony, the EC Boss said where such a situation defined by the petitioners existed, it would not lead to automatic cancellation until the results have passed certain tests.
The ballots would have to be sorted out for ‘foreign materials’ before it could be cancelled. The range of serial numbers on the ballot papers would also have to be checked to find out if any foreign ballot outside the range of serial numbers was in the box.
But the seasoned journalist reasoned, if the instance of over vote as claimed by the petitioners could go through such ‘test’, it should behoove on the EC to apply that test to his own classical definition of over voting.
The E.C should also subject classical over voting situation to checks on every ballot paper to determine the presence of foreign materials.
“There is the need for consistency….why are we disabled from doing sorting out of that classical situation.. the non-classical if that occurs must have the same effect as the classical definition”, he said.
He said Dr. Afari Gyan’s testimony was ‘internally incoherent’ because it revealed the E.C did not take the election petition hearing seriously.
He also described attempt by counsel for E.C, James Quashie-Idun to tender in evidence of biometric voters register, as ‘shocking’. Any serious legal team should have predicted that the biometric verification devices and print-outs would be crucial enough and tendered it in evidence, much earlier.
These devices, he said, were ‘killer weapons’ to the hearing of the presidential election petition’.
“You have such an information, a well-prepared legal team having read all the affidavits..would not have forgotten that particular evidence of huge evidential value”, the journalist said.
He said the EC had all the time to attach exhibits to their affidavits but chose not to do so.
Nana Ato Dadzie, spokesperson of the legal team of National Democratic Congress (NDC) defended Dr. Afari-Gyan. He said what the petitioners called an over vote, the E.C called an excess vote that could be reconcilable.
It would not be necessary to cancel results at the poll, he said.
“Where there are errors which you can see, it calls for an explanation..that is reconcilable”.
He said counsel for the petitioners are pressurizing the witness to call identified errors on the pink sheet as over vote. But Dr. Afari-Gyan has been consistent in saying that would be an excess vote to him.
According to Nana Ato Dadzie, the onus ultimately lies with the petitioners to prove their case, not the E.C.
The Presidential Election Petition has gone on for 29 sitting days. It is being held at the Supreme Court.
The petitioners who are key figures in the opposition New Patriotic Party (NPP), are challenging the declaration of John Mahama of the National Democratic Congress (NDC) as winner of the 2012 presidential elections last December.
Source: Myjoyonline

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