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KPMG Exposed


KPMG Exposed

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Aside the ongoing Presidential Election Petition being an unprecedented and landmark case in the annals of our country’s democratic history it is obvious that this case, by the time a verdict is received, would have redefined the way we do our politics and conduct our elections. Not only would this case redefine our politics but it obvious that this case has already redefined and exposed various institutions which hitherto were held in some high repute.

One of such institutions which have obviously been exposed badly is the Ghana branch of International Auditing and Accounting Firm, KPMG.

To sink KPMG finally was the decision of the Supreme Court on Monday ignoring both the firm’s final report on the count of pink sheets filed by the petitioners and the firm’s representative, Nii Amanor Dodoo's surprising insistence that the court should rely on only 8,675 pink sheets as those filed by the petitioners and agreeing with the petitioners that they had enough to prove that much more that 11,000 unique pink sheets was filed. But we will return to the math later.

KPMG the highly reputed market leader in accounting and auditing, at least until their disappointing show at the Supreme Cour,t was introduced into the business of determining who really won the December Presidential Elections when after several complaints from the respondents on the number of pink sheets filed by the petitioners. The court agreed and ordered that it was necessary to do a count of the pink sheets filed by the petitioners to settle the matter and stop the little issue of pink sheet mislabeling etc. from bugging and unnecessarily delaying the case.

This decision on hindsight seems to be the biggest blessing for the petitioners in the case so far.

When the court finally agreed to take this much needed step, KPMG was settled upon by consensus of the parties (apparently after first being mentioned by Lawyers for the NDC) as the best suited to undertake the task in this historic case and the belief immediately was that the firm had much more competence and professionalism to faithfully report to the court its findings on the pink sheets. KPMG’s name immediately had become engraved in Ghanaian judicial and election history.

It however didn’t take more than 24 hours after KPMG began its work for worrying signals to emerge.

Just a day after the count began, lawyers of the respondents filed into court angrily demanding various directives from the court including a stop of the process as according to them some unseen hands had been able to compromise the exhibits in the custody of the Supreme Court despite 24 hour round the clock maximum protection of the premises by National Security, Police and possibly footsoldiers of the ruling party as well as 24 hour round the clock CCTV surveillance of the Supreme Court strong room where the exhibits were kept.

In their presentations the lawyers of John Mahama and the NDC, Tony Lithur and Tsatsu Tsikata probably forgetful, dropped hints of secret meetings and collaborative undertakings they had had with KPMG and certain secret details passed to them by KPMG.

Both of these lawyers mentioned a certain secret meeting they had had with representatives of the supposed to be professional firm a day before their showing in court while Tsatsu Tsikata specifically dropped hints about a count of the boxes in the custody of the President of the Panel, Justice William Atuguba undertaking by KPMG which the respectable Judge was not even aware of and indicating that KPMG would in a matter of hours inform the Judge of the findings of that secret box count.

The red signs immediately appeared all over the count of KPMG and specifically the firm’s whole professionalism and integrity. Could a firm that had thrown all principles of professionalism too early in the day be still trusted to deliver an honest account of their findings, was the question which now had to be answered.

But KPMG obviously showed that they were in no eagerness to correct the early misconceptions their secret dealings with the respondents had thrown up.

Though KPMG was primarily tasked to inform the court on how many unique pink sheets the petitioners had filed, KPMG completed its work without doing this, very strangely. KPMG did not even add the unique set of pink sheets found in the President’s set which were not in the registrar’s set, to indicate at least the unique count in the set of the president of the panel and the registrar.

Further, they set aside a whole 1,545 pink sheets with various ridiculous remarks and sought to have them set aside by the court. More bizarre is the fact that 850 of these pink sheets clearly had polling station codes which are the primary identifiers of a polling station. Others were set aside because they had no ballot accounting information, something which is totally not the fault of the petitioners who filed the sheets and interestingly part of the petitioners’ case as showing the sort of irregularities which characterized the last election.

When KPMG submitted its draft report, the petitioners meticulously analyzed the report and noted all the essential matters KPMG had missed. According to the representative of the KPMG while being cross examined, the petitioners even went all the way into providing annexures of the lists of unique pink sheets they had found in the president’s set which were not in the registrar’s set, the number of pink sheets they had identified in the 1,545 list KPMG claimed were unclear and the unique pink sheets in them among others.

KPMG upon seeing the meticulous work done by the petitioners immediately decided it was not in ‘their’ interest to attach the comments of the petitioners into their final report and discarded the report totally even though they had initially agreed with all the parties that their comments would be factored into the final report.

In court and while being cross examined by the counsel for the petitioners, the representative of KPMG, Nii Amanor Dodoo was clearly exposed as being dishonest or at least not knowing what he and the firm were about. He flip flapped on several issues and ended confusing the whole nation on the work KPMG had done.

When the respondents took the mantle of cross examination however, Mr. Amanor Dodoo who looked very comfortable then surprisingly insisted on more than a dozen times that the court should only deal with 8,675 pink sheets they claimed were unique in the registrar’s set. This number excluded the unique pink sheets in the president of the panel’s set which were not in the registrar’s set and the unique pink sheets which could be easily identified in the 1,545 they had set aside which had all been listed in their own report.

At this time, no one needed a soothsayer to know that KPMG was very actively collaborating to get the petitioners numbers slashed.

However, much has been said in the court since then. The court since then has ruled that the KPMG report is auxiliary which has clearly devalued the significance of the work undertaken by KPMG and most importantly, the court ruled on Monday that they would factor all the pink sheets in the set of the president of the panel but not in the registrar’s set, the unique pink sheets in the list of 1,545 KPMG said were unclear as well as the pink sheets used by the respondents which were not in either the set of the registrar or the president of the panel.

Now the math. KPMG claimed there were 8,675 unique pink sheets in the set of the registrar. This now has to be added to the 833 pink sheets found in the president of the panel but not in the registrar’s set and the uniquely identified 1,234 in the list of 1545 KPMG claimed were blank and the 648 pink sheets used by the respondents in their cross examination of 2ndPetitioner not in either the set of the registrar or the president of the panel, bringing the number clearly to over 11,000.

The petitioners insist they submitted 11,842 pink sheets to the court though they are now relying on only 11,138 of those to make their case and from the available evidence of clear mix ups in the service arising from the work of the registry, it is clear that if indeed the Court had time and undertook a count of all the exhibits in the custody of more judges or if even the respondents had earlier been mandated to list the exhibits they received, the petitioners’ 11,842 pink sheets filed would clearly have been established.

From: Mensah, Kwasi Osei



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