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Opinions Sat, 13 Jul 2013

Same Serial Numbers Still Haunting Philip Addison

By Margaret Jackson

July 11, 2013

Mr Philip Addison, lead counsel for the NPP in the on-going Supreme Court (SC) petition case does not seem to get it. He has simply blocked his ears and mind to the testimony by the Electoral Commission (EC) that serial numbers on the pink sheets were generated by the printing houses which were contracted by the EC to print the pink sheets.

For some strange unforeseen reason, Addison falsely believes that the EC generated the serial numbers on the pink sheets that were used for the conduct of the 2012 elections. As a result, the NPP lead counsel keeps pointing to the double serial numbers on some pink sheets, even though those pink sheets have different but correct polling station codes and names. And in some instances some of the pink sheets with the same serial numbers were used at polling stations in different regions of the country during the 2012 Elections.

But Philip Addison, who seems to have run out of questions in his cross-examination of Dr Afari Gyan, continues to make a big deal out of this by claiming that there were some pink sheets with the same serial numbers. This is against the backdrop that pink sheets with the same serial numbers do not mean much to the EC and on Election Day.

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The EC by their regulation allows all the printing houses that they contract to print pink sheets to generate their own unique serial numbers when they print the pink sheets. This arrangement is to help the printing houses to know the exact number of pink sheets they print. This arrangement is very normal everywhere, but to Philip Addison is seems very fishy.

What the EC does on Election Day is to send these pink sheets to various polling stations. Therefore, there could be two different polling stations using two different pink sheets with the same serial numbers. But what differentiate those two polling stations on Election Day are their unique polling station names and codes and not the same serial numbers. This re-emphasizes the point that what the EC uses in tracking results on Election Day are polling station names and codes and not serial numbers.

But Philip Addison and the NPP who are seeking to write new rules or guidelines for the EC do not seem to understand this simple explanation. Meanwhile, they seem to have forgotten that these same arrangements by the EC were in place when ex-President John Kufuor won the elections in 2000 and 2004.

That is why Mr Addison who started his cross-examination of Dr Afari Gyan on June 5, 2013 is still heading nowhere with his recycling of questions which is now centring more on unsigned pink sheets and double serial numbers. Today you will see Mr Addison asking some few questions on unsigned pink sheets, but before one could even understand his fishing expedition, he jumps to double serial numbers and then ends by accusing Dr Afari Gyan of withholding information.

Mr Addison will come back the next day and start with questions bothering on different sets of unsigned pink sheets and veer towards double serial numbers in that other. I bet if you talk to some staunch NPP supporters who have been religiously following proceedings at the SC, they will tell you that they have lost track of what Philip Addison is seeking to achieve.

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And you could sense the same feelings coming from the bench. If you continue to hear the bench saying that they want to expedite the petition case which the International Community is watching, then you can conclude that the feet dragging attitude of the NPP lead counsel has not gone unnoticed.

Philip Addison is taking the court proceedings on a roller coaster ride. When people predict that he is going to end the cross-examination for the addresses to start, that is when he recycles a question that he has previously asked the witness and pretends it is something relatively new.

The issue concerning the double serial numbers is taking Philip Addison nowhere. Addison would have helped himself in court if he had produced evidence that there were some pink sheets with same polling station names and codes that were double counted by the EC. But he simply has none, which is why he keeps beating about the bush in his recycling gimmick.

magjackson80@yahoo.com http://majjacks80.blogspot.com

Columnist: Jackson, Margaret