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Bawumia gives 4m reasons to show - EC Was Wrong to Declare Mahama President


Photo Reporting: Dr BawumiaBawumia gives 4m reasons to show - EC Was Wrong to Declare Mahama President

The much-anticipated hearing of the substantive case of the election petition challenging the declaration of John Dramani Mahama as winner of the 2012 general election took off in full flight yesterday at the Supreme Court of Ghana, with Mahamamudu Bawumia, the 2012 Vice Presidential Candidate of the New Patriotic Party, mounting the witness box to lead evidence for the petitioners.

Dr Bawumia, in his evidence pointed out irregularities, statutory and constitutional violations and malpractices in the presidential election which he said gave rise to illegal votes of 3,924,844 votes collated and counted by the EC to declare Mr Mahama the winner.

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He, therefore, prayed the court to annul the illegal votes, explaining that doing so would leave the first respondent, Mr Mahama, with 41.96 per cent of the valid votes, while the first petitioner, Nana Akufo-Addo, would get 56.65 per cent.

Dr Bawumia’s impressive presentation won the admiration of many people, including even Nana Ato Dadzie, a member of the legal team of the National Democratic Congress, who particularly acknowledged his statistical prowess during a post-hearing interview with the media. Lead counsel for the Electoral Commission, Quarshie-Idun, also described the renowned economist as “our eminent statistician.”

{sidebar id=1 align right}Dr Bawumia, the second petitioner in the case, who was led in evidence by Philip Addison, Lead Counsel for the petitioners, said of the EC’s attitude as far as the December election was concerned: “My Lords, it looks like every irregularity, violation and malpractices is supposed to be an error except the declaration of the results.”

He told the nine-member Supreme Court, presided over by Justice William Atuguba, that the declaration of first respondent, Mr Mahama, as winner of the election by the Electoral Commission, the second respondent, could not be supported by the primary evidence he and the other petitioners had gathered.

“We found numerous malpractices and statutory violations and irregularities as evidenced in the primary record of the elections at the polling station called pink sheets,” he told the court, adding that all these came out after the NPP Presidential Candidate, Nana Akufo-Addo, had formed a committee to investigate alleged irregularities in the December 2012 elections.

Dr Bawumia explained that the committee examined around 24,000 pinks sheets and found so many irregularities, such as cases of over voting, voting without verification, duplication of polling station serial numbers, and pink sheets without signatures of presiding officers.


Dr Bawumia explained to the court what he meant by over-voting: “Over-voting is in two forms. Over voting will arise if the total votes in the box exceeds the voters’ register at a particular polling station. Also, if the number of votes in the ballot box is far in excess of the number of voters you have given ballot papers to. This type of over-voting is what the EC Chairman was very clear on before the elections,” he said.

He said the EC Chairman had stated before the 2012 general elections that even if one vote was detected to have been in excess of the number of ballot papers issued, the results of the polling station would be annulled.

Dr Bawumia cited examples of polling stations whose results were annulled because of over-voting. The polling stations were Arabic Primary School polling stations in the Upper West Akyem constituency, as well as another polling station in the Tano North constituency. Voting Without Biometric Verification

Dr Bawumia drew the court’s attention to the fact that the second respondent, the EC, before the 2012 elections, promulgated a law which said all prospective voters had to be verified by the help of a biometric machine before voting.

He told the court that after thorough examination, it was unearthed that some 535,723 people voted without going through biometric verification, and prayed the court to annul the number of votes affected by voting without biometric verification.

At this stage, Justice Baffoe Bonnie, a member of the panel of judges, asked if Dr Bawumia was asking the court to go ahead to annul the figures in all the affected polling stations merely because some people had voted without verification.

He answered in the affirmative, citing examples of polling stations where the EC cancelled the entire results of the elections on grounds that some people had voted without going through biometric verification.

"The EC cannot apply one set of rules to one polling station and a different set of rules to another polling station," he maintained, demanding fairness and equity at all polling stations.

Pink Sheets Without Signatures of Presiding Officers

Dr Bawumia told the court that pink sheets containing records of voting at some 1039 polling stations did not have the signatures of the presiding officers. The number of votes affected here, as he indicated to the court, amounted to some 705, 305.

He explained that the absence of signatures of the presiding officers on the pink sheets was at variance with the laws set out by the second respondent, the EC, before the 2012 general election. Dr Bawumia told the court that the pink sheets must have an exclusive serial number for each polling station, and even though there must not be a situation where different polling stations share the same serial number, that was not the case in the 2012 elections.

‘Ghost’ Polling Stations

Dr Bawumia told the court that there was evidence to show that voting took place at some 23 polling stations that were not among the 26002 polling stations on the list of the EC.

But Tony Lithur, counsel for Mr Mahama, objected to the mention of 23 polling stations, drawing attention to the fact that the witness in his affidavits had mentioned only 22 polling stations and could therefore not be allowed to lead evidence in respect of 23 polling stations. He therefore asked the witness to stick to 22. Lawyer for the EC agreed to the objection.

Counsel for the NDC, Tsatsu Tsikata, asked the petitioners to present ‘better and further particulars’ for the 23 polling stations if that was the case.

A member of the panel of judges, Justice Gbadegbe, asked the petitioners to stick to the 22 polling stations they had early on agreed to before yesterday’s hearing.

Philip Addision, lead counsel for the petitioners, maintained his clients had provided evidence for 23 polling stations but would stick to leading evidence in respect of 22 polling stations as directed by the court.

Faked foreign voters list

Dr Bawumia told the court that the EC had still not furnished petitioners with particulars of the 241,554 voters it claimed to have registered abroad for the elections. The EC has so far provided a list covering 705 voters, a list Dr Bawumia described as “faked”.

He said when the petitioners demanded the bio-data of the foreign voters from the EC, the data they received indicated “fake voter ID numbers” and a “mathematical formula” where same names had different numbers running through.

He told the court that the number of registered voters in the voters register, as supplied by the EC, kept changing. He explained that the EC provided a total register of 14,301,680 of voters before the election.

On the day the chairman of the EC declared the results of the election, he gave a figure of 14,158,890, a difference of 127,210 from the one they had early on provided.

By Nana Yaw Dwamena & Fiifi Arhin

Source: thestatesmanonline.com



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