7 Witnesses file statements in Banda election petition

BY: Emmanuel Adu-Gyamerah
Mr Ahmed Ibrahim  — NDC MP for Banda (left) and Mr Joe Danquah — NPP Parliamentary Candidate in the 2020 elections
Mr Ahmed Ibrahim — NDC MP for Banda (left) and Mr Joe Danquah — NPP Parliamentary Candidate in the 2020 elections

Seven persons have filed statements in the New Patriotic Party (NPP) 2020 parliamentary election petition in the Banda Constituency.

While three filed in support of the petition by the NPP parliamentary candidate, Mr Joe Danquah, four others filed in support of the declaration of the National Democratic Congress (NDC) Member of Parliament for the area, Mr Ahmed Ibrahim, as the legitimate winner.

The statements were in response to the Sunyani High Court’s directives given on April 23, 2021 for the parties to file their statements.

The petitioner, Mr Danquah, who filed his witness statement after the 14-day ultimatum, was slapped with a fine of GH¢1,500.

At the court’s sitting on May 20, 2021, it emerged that the second respondent in the case, the Electoral Commission (EC), was yet to comply with the 14-day ultimatum given by the court for both parties to file their witness statements.

Witnesses

Mr Anane Abdulai, who served as the Coordinator for the NPP in the Banda Constituency in the December 7 general election, and Mr Sampson Bediako, who was the agent for the NPP at the D/A Primary School Polling Station, Boase, filed in support of the petitioner.

Mr Ibrahim’s witnesses are Mr Dennis Yeboah Twumasi, the Bono Regional Secretary of the NDC; Mr Kwarteng Tanor, a farmer and agent for the GCPP at the Boase D/A Primary School Polling Station; Mr Adjei Prosper, the NDC agent at the Boase D/A Primary School Polling Station, and Mr Mohammed Tanko, the Election Director for the NDC in the Banda Constituency.

Even though the May 20 sitting was meant for case management, the absence of counsel for the EC, who had written to seek leave from the court to attend to another matter, compelled the court to schedule its next sitting for Thursday, June 4, 2021.

Statements

In his statement, Mr Danquah argued that “the purported election of first respondent as MP for Banda is invalid, owing to widespread malpractice and irregularities which affected the outcome of the impugned election”.

He stated that the results obtained from the collation sheets issued by the EC to respective polling agents of the NPP graphically revealed that the results declared by the returning officer were wrong and inaccurate.

For his part, Mr Twumasi, who filed the witness statement on behalf of Mr Ibrahim, said that the allegation by the petitioner that valid votes cast at the Boase D/A Primary School exceeded the total ballots issued was incorrect, adding that the accredited agent of the NPP signed the pink sheet at that polling station without duress.

Comments

In scheduling the next sitting for the continuation of the hearing, the judge, Mr Justice Gabriel Mate-Teye, urged all parties to comply with the directives of the court to ensure a speedy adjudication of the matter.

He said since the matter was an election petition, there was the need for cooperation to avoid undue delay.