EC Accused Of Printing Extra Pink Sheets

mr James Quashie IdunThe Petitioners at the ongoing 2012 presidential election petition yesterday informed the nine-member panel of Judges of the Supreme Court that they have evidence that the Electoral Commission (EC) did not only illegally print separate pink sheets for the presidential and parliamentary elections, but also printed duplicates and triplicates of such pink sheets.

The EC has insisted during the hearings that it printed only two sets of pink sheets, for the 2012 election.

However, the petitioners have accused the key witness of the EC, Dr. Kwadwo Afari-Gyan, the chairman of the EC of misleading the court by printing four sets of pink sheets, for each polling station. Lead counsel for the petitioners, Phillip Addison at on Day-10 of his cross-examination yesterday went through a substantial number of pink sheets which had duplicate serial numbers, which the witness affirmed.

When he probed further why the EC printed four sets of pink sheets for the election, Witness said logically, there should have been no triplicates and could not understand why there should be quadruplicates.

Mr. Addison drew Witness’ attention to having told the court earlier in his cross-examination that the EC printed only two sets of pink sheets but it turned out to be triplicates and quadruplicates to which he denied.

Mr. Addison insisted that the evidence in an exhibit had shown that four sets of pink sheets were printed, but Witness maintained his grounds.
When lead counsel suggested to the witness that he was misleading the court, he vehemently denied the assertion.

At certain stages of the cross-examination Dr. Afari-Gyan insisted that he must cross check with the original list of pink sheets in the custody of the EC before the document could be tendered. Mr. Addison said there was no need, since the legal team of the EC had perused the document.

James Quarshie–Idum, Counsel for the EC objected, with the explanation that the documents were presented to them Wednesday night, and that if the witness wanted to cross check, he was only being cautious, an explanation the bench agreed with.

Mr. Quarshie–Idun informed the court that another list of pink sheets had been provided them only a few minutes earlier and the witness had been cross-examined on it.
A member of the panel, Justice Jones, Dotse asked Mr. Addision if there were more of similar pink sheets, to which he replied in the affirmative.

When the court wanted to know when those final lists would be made available to the respondents for study, he could not give a definite answer.
Another member of the panel, Justice Sule Gbadegbe suggested an early rise to enable the bench to return after recess for Mr. Addison to inform the court when the legal team of the petitioners would provide the list to the respondents.

Mr. Addison then gave an indication that he could provide the respondents with all the pink sheets he would be relying on for his cross-examination today, and would continue on Monday, to which the court acceded to.

The cross-examination resumed and Dr. Afari-Gyan was asked to identify a document and some pink sheets which he confirmed had the same code but explained that one of them was used for the special voting and the other for the actual election.

When, Mr. Addison quizzed the witness that on the face of the pink sheet one of them was for used for special voting and another for the main election, he could not give a definite answer to that effect.
Witness said “special voting did not have polling stations and if they took place at the polling station they will have the same polling station code.”
He further explained that special voting results were entered on the collation sheet before the main voting results.

Witness denied that there were duplications of the official lists of 26,002 polling stations codes.
Mr. Addison showed the witness extract of a register from Mampong constituency but Dr. Afari-Gyan expressed misgivings about the document, since the EC did not print its register in colour.
He explained that when he searched for the names in the extract given by the petitioners, he could not find those names in the EC’s original register.

Dr. Afari-Gyan further explained that in the EC’s register, the Mampong constituency polling station had 365 registered voters but the names in the extract could not be found in the EC’s register.
Justice Paul Baffoe-Bonnie a member of the panel then drew the court’s attention to a mix-up but Dr. Afari-Gyan indicated that when he looked at the Nyinampong register they found the names but not in the arranged format in the extract given by the petitioners.

Dissatisfied with the answer, Mr. Addison pointed out that the register the EC provided captured pictures in colour since the EC gave soft copies of the register to the New Patriotic Party (NPP) which Dr. Afari-Gyan conceded.

Mr. Addison then drew Dr. Afari-Gyan’s attention to a woman by name Adwoa Gyamfua who had another name but with same features and different age.

He then suggested to the witness that the pictures were the same persons but with different names but the witness replied “so far as I can see, one of them is 47 years old and the other 75 years old even though they appear to the eye as the same.”
When he (Addison) attempted to tender the document in evidence, Mr. Quarshie-Idun raised an objection since the witness doubted the authenticity of the document.

Mr. Tsatsu Tsikata, counsel for the National Democratic Congress (NDC) associated himself with the objection and also indicated that the document lacked authenticity in many aspects.
He argued that the pictures appeared scattered in the actual register and suddenly appeared in the extracts adding that, “it is a document which lacks the authenticity of the evidence”.

He said, ‘to try and tender a document whose authenticity has been scattered by the witness could not be acceptable.’
Justice Gbadegbe agreed with the submissions by Mr. Tsikata and declared “extracts must be extracts and the petitioners ought to know this.”
Mr. Addison disagreed with Justice Gbadegbe and contended that Witness had confirmed that details in the extract were the same as in the EC’s own register.

He argued that Witness had also affirmed that the EC gave all the soft copies of the register and found it strange why the respondents should object to the same information that had been confirmed by Witness, but later offered to withdraw the document.

The respondents objected to the withdrawal, arguing that it was too late, but the court in a unanimous decision, allowed the withdrawal. Hearing continues on Monday July 15.
The petitioners, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo Addo, his running mate, Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia, and Jake Obetsebi-Lamptey, are challenging the result of the 2012 presidential elections in which the Electoral Commission (EC) declared President John Mahama the winner.

They are contending that gross and widespread irregularities took place in the 11,916 polling stations.
The petitioners are, therefore, calling for the annulment of 4,670,504 votes cast in the 11,916 polling stations.

But, President Mahama, the Electoral Commission (EC) and the National Democratic Congress (NDC) first, second and third respondents respectively, have denied any wrongdoing, and are of the view that the polls were free, fair and transparent and for that reason the results were credible and accurate.

The nine-member panel of judges hearing the case is presided over by Justice William Atugubah.The other members are Justices Julius Ansah, Mrs. Sophia Adinyira, Ms. Rose Owusu, Jones Dotse, Justice Annin Yeboah, Paul Baffoe-Bonnie, N. S. Gbadegbe and Mrs Vida Akoto-Bamfo. – Winston Tamakloe

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