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General News Sat, 20 Jul 2013

Lawyer Okudzeto lied at National Peace Summit - Mornah

PNC General Secretary, Bernard Mornah, has expressed disappointment at a presentation by Lawyer Sam Okudzeto at the recently held National Summit organised by the Institute of Democratic Governance.

He claimed the presentation was riddled with falsehoods, bias and factual errors.

According to the People National Convection stalwart, the legal luminary failed in the objective to enlighten the whole nation.

The "National Summit" was held in Accra on Friday July 19,2013, on the theme: "Justice, Peace and Reforms will strengthen Ghana".

The forum was organised by the Institute of Democratic Governance (IDEG) and was aimed at sensitising the nation on the need to live in peace after the judgment for the ongoing 2012 Presidential Election petition is delivered.

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Lawyer Sam Okudzeto who was one of the speakers at the summit, among other things said it is the position of the law that presiding officers must sign the pink sheets at the various polling stations.

He said if they failed to do so, as has been shown by the Petitioners, the justices hearing the case will now prove whether the results in those polling stations remain valid or not.

But speaking on Radio Gold's news analysis programme Alhaji and Alhaji on Saturday, Bernard Mornah said Lawyer Okudzeto's view is not correct.

"I don't know which law or which laws stated that as soon as this [officials' and agents' refuse to sign or declare results] is done, it means the elections are invalid", he said.

He claimed if that were the case, it would be easy for Electoral Commission officials who usually have their political biases to deliberately refuse to sign election declaration forms just to cause confusion and invalidate election processes.

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"Another falsehood that he made is that the Supreme Court is the final [authority]...that after [their] decision nobody can appeal" he said.

But he recalled that on April 30 this year, the Supreme Court, by a 7-0 decision ruled in his favour that portions of CI 74 were inconsistent with the 1992 Constitution but there there was the opportunity for review of the ruling, an opportunity which Abu Ramadan, a member of the PNC has taken advantage of.

"Therefore in this Presidential election petition, there is opportunity for seeking review, that is what the Supreme Court says", he stated. He said he found it "amazing" that Lawyer Sam Okudzeto was oblivious of this recent ruling.

He was also not impressed by the Lawyer's reference to the election declaration form as "pinksheets" all through his address, saying being a Lawyer, Sam Okudzeto should have referred to the Electoral Commission forms by its proper name and also educate the public that it was only in the 2012 elections that the forms were printed in pink colour.

Bernard Mornah also disagreed with the Lawyer that supporters of the party that win the court case should not jubilate.

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According to him, that admonition was pointless because it would be impossible to stop people from expressing their joy when the ruling goes in their favour.

In his view a proper admonition from the learned Lawyer would have been that people should be moderate in their expression of joy when the ruling goes in their favour.

He said Lawyer Okudzeto's biases and factual flaws in the whole of his presentation became most prominent when he stated that once the Supreme Court judges rule that a President can no longer be in office then nothing further could be done.

"What about if you are not in office and the law says you cannot be in office...he did not talk about that" saying the presentation by the Lawyer was at the height of bias.

In his view, this statement was one-sided because it failed to capture the scenerios of the two possibilities that could arise from the Supreme Court ruling.

"You can taint yourself in anyway, but such level of bias at a forum that is supposed to educate and enlighten us was exceptionally unfortunate, it was laced with falsehood, [and] the facts that he was seeking to establish did not come out" he stressed in conclusion.

Source: joyonline