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Tsatsu, Bawumia exchange “bukom blows” at cross-examination

BY: Enoch Darfah Frimpong

In reply, Dr Bawumia accused Tsikata of being afraid of the truth and being afraid to look at his (Bawumia's) analysis, but rather hiding behind mis-labeled exhibit numbers.

Mr Tsikata who was cross-examining the witness on the duplicate serial numbers category, had suggested that polling agents would not look at the serial numbers because it was not relevant to the results, rather it was the votes; the polling station identification including name and the signature of the returning officer that matter. Dr Bawumia disagreed.

Counsel said it was not true when Dr Bawumia tried to suggest that an exhibit with the number 5998 had been provided to the court.

Bawumia responded that there must have been a mislabeling.

But Mr Tsikata fired back and said that was not an honest answer.

“This is an example of your dishonesty to this court. Because Dr Bawumia, there is an exhibit that you have attached to your affidavit, it is exhibit 5998 with a certain polling station, now you are giving a different polling station. That exhibit number which is already in evidence. That is what you are doing”, counsel said.

Dr Bawumia responded that was an error and that there was no dishonesty intended.

“If you want to be honest with the court, let us put down my analysis, if you are not afraid of the truth, let us put down my analysis and show me one repeated polling station in my analysis”.

“My Lords we have deleted about 704 polling stations. We are now relying on 11,138. Counsel wants to suggest that somehow we are double counting but he is afraid to get our analysis to look and see in the analysis that we are not double counting” Bawumia said.

Dr Bawumia suggested that such a move will totally debunk the path that counsel was on.

“We cannot double count and if he wants the truth, let us see the analysis and let him show us one polling station that has been double counted. This will all rest. If you are afraid of the truth then of course you will hide behind these exhibit numbers”.

The President of the court, Justice William Atuguba intervened at this point and said “It is not a free fight.”

He asked Dr. Bawumia to just state his answer to it without any “bukom blows”.

But Mr Tsikata who was not happy with the posture of the witness responded, “My Lords with the greatest respect I do not think we can treat this lightly. This witness is claiming that I am afraid of the truth. I am asking him questions, he is not answering them, he is showing his dishonesty blatantly. I am not afraid of the truth. What bothers me is the dishonesty of this witness. My Lords, and this witness cannot be allowed to go on making statements”.

Justice Atuguba called Bawumia to order but told Tsatsu not to fight the battle beyond his confines.

He said each side can present their case to the court as per the procedure of the court.

He said there are certain things which are for examination-in-chief and certain things for cross-examination.

“So just limit yourself to the extent of the question”, he said.

Mr Tsikata had wanted the court to warn the witness not to persist in that but counsel for petitioners, Mr Philip Addision interjected and said counsel got the answer which he asked for and that he accused the witness of being dishonest.

“And so I don’t know what he is complaining about. You called him names and he responded”.

Justice Atuguba intervened and advised that this is not like a criminal trial where the prosecution witness gives evidence and the accused attacks his credibility and there is cross-labeling of characters.

“This one it is one-way, he is counsel, he is cross-examining him”.

He told Mr Tsikata that he can put out matters of dishonesty and that he should not make an imputation he cannot establish and also told Bawumia that he cannot cross-fire his standing.

“That is not correct. He is not in the witness box like him”.

“You see in the witness box, it is your credibility at stake. You can be attacked but if the attack is unfair, we can look into that,” Justice Atuguba counseled.

The cross-examination continued afterwards.

Story: Enoch Darfah Frimpong/