Petitioners satisfy Supreme Court directive: Lawyers carry boxes of evidence to registrar

BY: Enoch Darfah Frimpong

The petitioners in the case challenging the results of the 2012 presidential election Sunday satisfied the Supreme Court’s April 2, 2013 order by filing affidavits of witness evidence they intend to use to prove their case that Nana Akufo-Addo of the New Patriotic Party (NPP) should have been rightfully declared winner of the poll.

According to a statement issued by the NPP, Messrs Egbert Faibille and Alex Quainoo, two of the lawyers for the petitioners, carried a truck-load of boxes of evidence to the office of the Supreme Court Registrar.

Over 400,000 documents in all were expected to be filed, with 15 copies of each supplied to all parties in the suit, as well as the nine justices on the panel.

The statement said the main affidavit contained 83 paragraphs which spell out the case for the petitioners, supported by boxes of documentary evidence from polling stations.

In addition to the handful of affidavits filed, the petitioners submitted evidence in the form of colour photocopies of pink sheets (Statement of Poll and Declaration of Results Form) from 11,842 polling stations where they are disputing the results as declared.

It said the petitioners based their case mainly on the facts and figures on the pink sheets, the official document that the Electoral Commission (EC) relied on to declare the results of the presidential poll held on December 7 and 8, 2012, while they had also grounded their case on clear breaches of the Constitution and other electoral laws and practices in Ghana.

Also, evidence in the form of video, audio and newspaper clippings were submitted by the petitioners to support their case.

According to the three petitioners, Nana Akufo-Addo, Dr Mahamudu Bawumia and Mr Jake Obetsebi-Lamptey, there were six main categories of irregularities, malpractice, violations and omissions in various combinations which affected the results of the election in the 11,842 polling stations which had irredeemably damaged  4,637,305 votes in the process and must, therefore, be annulled. 

These are laid out in 24 grounds, which are “distinct and mutually exclusive categories in which no polling station can belong to more than one category, thereby avoiding double counting”, the affidavit by Dr Bawumia, the NPP’s presidential running mate in the election, said.

Also in his affidavit, Dr Bawumia made a startling revelation by stating that many of the 2,883 names supplied by the EC as representing the people who were registered abroad to vote were forged, repeated and fell way below the 241,000 which the EC first told the court it registered abroad.

The six broad categories of infractions are: over-voting, voting without biometric verification, multiple pink sheets with the same serial numbers, pink sheets without the signatures of the presiding officers or their deputies, same polling station codes for different pink sheets and unknown polling stations, 23 in all.

To support their case for the annulment of votes in affected polling areas, the petitioners, the statement said, had attached a video tape of the Chairman of the EC, Dr Kwadwo Afari-Gyan, the returning officer in the presidential election, in which, on December 5, 2012, he addressed the public at a press conference at the Ghana International Press Centre, Accra.

He is quoted as saying in the video: “Let me also share with you some of the firm decisions that we have taken together with the political parties: NVNV – NO VERIFICATION, NO VOTING. And by verification, we mean everybody will have to be verified biometrically. We have agreed in principle that where the votes found in the ballot box outnumber the persons verified to vote, the results of that polling station will be cancelled.”

The petitioners say that the true results of the 2012 presidential election, after it is cured of all the infractions through the necessary annulments, should see Nana Akufo-Addo earning 59.55 per cent, with the first respondent, Mr John Mahama, obtaining 39.17 per cent, of the valid votes cast.

They are, therefore, asking the court to declare that Mr Mahama was not validly elected and that the court should invoke its constitutional and statutory powers to declare Nana Akufo-Addo as the validly elected President of the Republic.

Instances of over-voting, as explained in the affidavit, were uncovered in polling stations where either the votes cast exceeded the total number of registered voters or votes exceeded the total number of ballot papers issued to voters on voting day, in violation of Article 42 of the Constitution and Regulation 24 (1) of CI 75.

To underline the strength of their case, the petitioners have shown in clear terms that most of the six categories can, on their own, show that Mr Mahama, the presidential candidate of the NDC, who was declared winner by the EC on December 9, was not validly elected, which requires over 50 per cent of the valid votes cast.