KPMG report ready

BY: Samuel K. Obour

Mr Justice William Atuguba, President of the nine-member PanelInternational audit firm, KPMG, has completed auditing the pink sheets at the heart of the election petition challenging the declaration of President John Dramani Mahama as the winner of the 2012 Presidential election.

The company is expected to present 15 copies of the final report to the registrar of the Supreme Court before 9 a.m. today.

Each of the nine justices of the court will be given copies, and so will all the parties in the case.

The extra copy will go to the Judicial Secretary.

This was disclosed to the Daily Graphic by a Senior Partner of KPMG, Mr Joe Winful, in Accra yesterday.

The Statement of Poll and Declaration of Results forms, also known as pink sheets, have been at the heart of the election petition because the petitioners — the presidential candidate of the New Patriotic Party (NPP), Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo; his running mate, Dr Mahamadu Bawumia, and the Chairman of the NPP, Mr Jake Obetsebi-Lamptey — have alleged that gross and widespread irregularities took place on the face of the pink sheets from 11,842 polling stations.

Although they insist they supplied 11,842 pink sheets to prove claims of over-voting, persons voting without undergoing biometric verification, some presiding officers not signing the pink sheets and some polling stations having the same serial numbers, the respondents allege that they were not supplied with 11,842 pink sheets.

The petitioners are currently relying on 11,115 pink sheets to make their case for the annulment of more than four million votes.

Realising the controversy surrounding the actual number of pink sheets supplied to the Supreme Court Registry would not die down, the court, on May 9, 2013, appointed KPMG to audit the pink sheets.

 

The Audit

KPMG completed auditing the first set of pink sheets submitted to the Supreme Court Registry, issued a draft report on it and requested parties in the petition to respond to the draft report, but the court, on June 5, 2013, directed that the pink sheets of the President of the panel, Mr Justice William Atuguba, be used as control in the audit.

As a result of that, the Supreme Court, on June 13, 2013, adjourned proceedings to today to enable the audit firm to complete its work to allow parties to rely on the report to make their case for and against the annulment of more than four million votes.

 

“We will defend our work”

Mr Winful declined to disclose the content of the report on the grounds that the firm was appointed by the Supreme Court and it was only fair that the court be allowed to see the content first.

“We have done our professional work diligently and are prepared to defend our work when called to testify in the case,” he emphasised.

“We worked thoroughly and tirelessly, including weekends and sometimes up to 2 a.m., in order to finish the work on time,” he intimated.

 

Emergency Meeting

Reacting to the widely circulated report that lawyers for the petitioners had called for a meeting with the KPMG, Mr Winful explained that the meeting actually took place on Friday, June 21, 2013.

He indicated that the meeting was to iron out a few issues before the issuance of the final report on the audit.

 

The Petition

The hearing of the substantive petition began on April 17, 2013.

So far, Dr Bawumia and the General Secretary of the National Democratic Congress (NDC), Mr Johnson Asiedu Nketia, have testified for the petitioners and President Mahama, as well as the NDC, respectively.

The Chairman of the EC, Dr Kwadwo Afari-Gyan, began giving his evidence-in-chief on Thursday, May 30, 2013 and is currently being cross-examined by Mr Philip Addison, the lead counsel for the petitioners.

The petitioners have alleged that the December 7 and 8, 2012 presidential election was fraught with malpractices of over-voting, non-signing of pink sheets by some presiding officers or their assistants, voting without biometric verification and duplicated serial numbers of pink sheets.

However, President Mahama, the EC and the NDC have denied that any such irregularities occurred during the election.

By Mabel Aku Baneseh

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