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Petitioners Hammer EC Over ‘Tampered’ Pink Sheets

the petition

Dr Kwadwo Afari-GyanPetitioners Hammer EC Over ‘Tampered’ Pink Sheets

he petitioners in the ongoing Presidential Election Petition have accused the Electoral Commission (EC) of ‘tampering’ pink sheets in order to justify their declaration of National Democratic Congress (NDC) candidate, John Dramani Mahama as President.

According to the three petitioners, apart from the duplication of serial numbers on the pink sheets as EC Chairman Dr Kwadwo Afari-Gyan admitted during cross-examination, they (petitioners) were able to prove that ‘triplicate’ and ‘quadruplicate’ serial numbers were also used alongside the duplicates during the December 2012 general election.

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They added that in trying to show to the Supreme Court hearing the petition that the pink sheets were only in ‘duplicates’ (which the petitioners say should not have been) and not in ‘triplicate’ or ‘quadruplicate’, the EC brought 17 pink sheets but most of them had been tampered with.

The three, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo presidential candidate of the opposition New Patriotic Party (NPP) in the December 2012 election, his running mate Dr Mahamudu Bawumia and the party’s Chairman Jake Otanka Obetsebi-Lamptey are in court seeking a declaration that John Dramani Mahama was not validly elected as President of Ghana.

They also added that “Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, the 1st petitioner herein, rather was validly elected President of the Republic of Ghana.”

They are alleging that during the December 7 & 8 presidential election, there were widespread instances of over-voting, voting without biometric verification, unsigned pink sheets by EC’s Presiding Officers as well as duplicate serial numbers and the petitioners called them violation, malpractices, omissions and irregularities.

According to the petitioners in their concluding address, “when account is taken of the fact that the great majority of the infractions that ground this petition can be found on pink sheets bearing duplicate serial numbers, there can be no doubt that the use of such pink sheets severely compromised the integrity of the 2012 presidential election and subverted the realization of the democratic will of the people of Ghana.”

They said that per the evidence adduced, “the number of polling stations where this malpractice occurred on its own is 5,591. When account is taken of the polling stations that registered other infractions together with use of duplicate serial numbers, the total number of polling stations affected by this malpractice is 8,987. The total number of votes affected by the malpractice is 3, 508, 491.”

The petitioners said that the respondents were given ‘a rude awakening from their disdain’ for the malpractice of duplicate serial numbers when, on July 11, 2013, counsel for petitioners confronted Dr Afari-Gyan, with the list of 17 pink sheets that bore ‘triplicate’ or ‘quadruplicate’ serial numbers together with their pink sheets.

According to the petitioners, Dr Afari-Gyan had admitted that “three sets each bore triplicate serial numbers while two sets each bore quadruplicate serial numbers,” adding “The witness admitted that three sets of three pink sheets each had the same serial numbers, while two sets of four pink sheets bore the same serial number.”

Q: Dr Afari-Gyan, you have told this court that you printed 2 sets of pink sheets. I see that was not enough. How do you explain triplicates and quadruplicate serial numbers that we have just seen in Exhibit “X”.

A: My lords, logically there should be no triplicates and quadruplicates that is why….

Q: I cannot hear you.

A: My lords, I cannot understand how there could be triplicates and quadruplicates, I cannot understand that and that is why we have to check.

The petitioner said the critical importance of serial numbers as a security feature which prevented electoral fraud, the swapping of one pink sheet for another and the manipulation of results on pink sheets became manifest as their lead counsel Philip Addison cross-examined the EC Chairman.

“In a rather despairing attempt to minimize and deflect the obvious damage that the grave malpractice of pink sheets with triplicate or quadruplicate serial numbers had done to the case of respondents on duplicate serial numbers, Dr Afari-Gyan, in re-examination on July 16, tendered as Exhibit EC11, a table, together with Exhibits EC 11 A to 11E3, the purported original copies of the pink sheets listed in Exhibit X. This only confounded matters for the 2nd respondent.”

They said a critical scrutiny and comparison of the pink sheets set out in their exhibit as compared to the EC’s “revealed substantial differences between the pink sheets filed by petitioners and listed as Exhibit X, and the purported originals belatedly tendered in evidence by Dr Afari-Gyan on the penultimate day of trial.”

“It is the respectful submission of petitioners that the pink sheets listed in Exhibit X were duplicates of the original copies and were given to the agents of 1st petitioner at the close of poll and the declaration of the results at the polling station on and 8th December 7 2012.”

They held that, “being duplicates of the original, it meant every hand written entry or mark found on the duplicates must equally be on the original copies. Similarly, the originals cannot have entries on them which will not be found on their corresponding duplicates. Indeed, that was the whole purpose of having the pink sheets printed in duplicates, to prevent manipulation of the ballot accounting entries and the results themselves after the close of polls and the declaration of results.”

“When petitioners, however, compared the pink sheet exhibits listed on Exhibit “X” with as the purported originals of 2nd respondent tendered as Exhibits EC 11, 11 A1 to 11 D4 series it became manifest that there had been tampering with the alleged originals of the 2nd respondent and that, in some cases, there had been complete swaps of the pink sheets in question.

“It ought to be underlined that the reason why 2nd respondent virtually got forced to tender in evidence pink sheets for the first time since this petition commenced was because it wished to discredit the damning evidence of triplicate and quadruplicate serial numbers which Exhibit X exposed.

“The petitioners said for instance, that the three pink sheets marked Exhibit MBP – 3246, CHIEF BELLO INT. SCHOOL, with Code C141004A, Exhibit MBP3238, APOSTOLIC REVELATION SOCIETY, with Code C141102A, MBQ 171, BAPTIST INT. CHURCH-ADIGON, with Code C140602 all bore the same pre-embossed serial number, namely 0025195. On the other hand, two of the purported corresponding original pink sheets tendered in evidence by 2nd respondent as Exhibit EC 11A, CHIEF BELLO INT. SCHOOL, with Code C141004A and Exhibit EC 11 BAPTIST INT. CHURCH-ADIGON, with Code C1409602, both bore the same serial number as the three duplicates, namely 0025195.

“The third, however, Exhibit EC 11 A1, APOSTOLIC REVELATION SOCIETY, with Code C141102A had a completely different serial number, namely 0026746. Furthermore, it is apparent from the entries on the two exhibits that the handwritings are quite different and that the specific entries are not the same,” they drew the court’s attention.

“There are cancellations on the so-called original which cannot be found on the duplicate, a logical and empirical impossibility. On the other hand, a comparison of the two sets of pink sheets bearing the same serial numbers shows that all the entries in each duplicate can be found in the original and, further, that the hand writing is the same for each pair. Quite clearly, Exhibit EC 11 A1 is a recently fabricated document, generated in an attempt to rebut the evidence of triplicate serial numbers.”

The petitioners went ahead to cite other polling stations where triplicate and quadruplicate serial numbers were used but the originals had been tampered with.

“This malpractice grave enough as it was, was further compounded by evidence establishing the existence of pink sheets with triplicate and quadruplicate serial numbers that were used for the December 2012 presidential election.

“Accordingly, the Court is respectfully urged to find that, in addition to the duplicate serials numbers, 2nd respondent used pink sheets with triplicate and quadruplicate serial numbers for the conduct of the December 2012 presidential election.”

By William Yaw Owusu

Source: Daily Guide/Ghana



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