Petitioners To Continue Cross-Examining EC Boss

Afari-GyanMr. Philip Addison, lead counsel for the petitioners in the election results case before the Supreme Court, is expected to conclude his cross-examination of the Chairman of the Electoral Commission, Dr. Kwadwo Afari-Gyan, today.

The controversy surrounding some pink sheets did not allow the petitioners to conclude their cross-examination of Dr. Afari-Gyan, the key witness of the second respondent, last Thursday, as the nine-member panel, presided over by Justice William Atuguba, had expected.

Mr Addison had informed the court that he could not conclude his cross-examination because of misunderstanding over re-categorisation of the pink sheets.

Justice Sophia Adinyira, a member of the panel, had suggested to Mr. Addison to conclude his cross-examination to enable all the parties to file their addresses to the court this week.

She pointed out that once the petitioners had filed 13,926 pink sheets, it was enough for the court to proceed even if there were duplications and/or triplications.

During the cross-examination, a stand-off arose over the actual number of pink sheets presented to Dr. Afari-Gyan for his perusal.
Tony Lithur, counsel for President John Mahama, informed the court that a list supposedly containing 115 pink sheets, actually had 107 pink sheets, but Mr. Addison explained that only one of the names on the pink sheet had been cancelled.

He admitted that the name should be struck out leaving 114, and disagreed with Mr. Lithur’s claim that the list was 107 pink sheets.
During the back and forth over the actual number, a member of the panel, Justice Paul Baffoe-Bonnie, collected the list and decided to count them to ascertain the actual figure, but he could not because the cancellations had rendered the document messy.

Justice Baffoe-Bonnie then suggested to the petitioners to present a clearer list to avoid any doubts, which Mr. Addison acceded to.
He informed the court that the petitioners had exhausted the lists of pink sheets which were not in contention for cross-examining the witness, and prayed the court for an adjournment to sort out and generate a new list for cross-examination to continue today.

The court had earlier over ruled an objection by the respondents in respect of a contention that a list of seven pink sheets did not tally with the content of the KPMG report.

They insisted that asking questions on those pink sheets could be highly prejudicial. The respondents said they had no idea when those pink sheets were generated and that they had  evidence that additional pink sheets had been introduced, an evidence which had been challenged.

At certain stages of the respondents submissions, they disagreed with some of the members of the panel when the judges pointed out to them that it was the polling station that mattered and not the exhibit numbers, so that if the polling station could clearly be identified but had exhibit numbers mixed up, it should be accepted.

The respondents insisted that it did not lie with anybody, not even the bench, to reconstruct the case for the petitioners since they had categorised their allegations into 24, but it appeared a new category had been introduced.

They submitted that they (respondents) had concluded their cross-examination and had begun writing their addresses based on the 24 exclusive categories of irregularities.

The respondents said they could not allow a situation where newly generated pink sheets would be added, since any change in the labelling and categories would affect their case.

The petitioners’ in their rebuttal, pointed out that they had not generated new pink sheets, saying each of the pink sheets submitted for cross-examination corresponded with labelling of the KPMG report.

When the bench indicated to the petitioners that it was not enough to say a pink sheet was in the KPMG report but should be clearly and well categorised, Mr. Addison admitted the assertion.

He explained that there was the need for re-categorisation because their understanding of the order of the court last Wednesday, was that they should prove that whatever pink sheets they introduced in their cross-examination was captured in the KPMG report.

The petitioners maintained that the seven pink sheets in contention had been captured in the category of no signatures, except that they had overlapped with some of them in the separate category of irregularity. – Winston Tamakloe

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