General News of Wed, 31 Jul 201363
We rely on fact; Respondents on inconsequential observer reports – NPP
The New Patriotic Party (NPP) claims that whilst their petition has relied on facts, that of the NDC has been all about inconsequential reports of electoral observers.
The election petition, which is being heard at the Supreme Court, is challenging the declaration of John Mahama as the winner of the 2012 presidential elections.
To prosecute their case, the opposition party is relying on pink sheets, which is the official document that the Electoral Commission used to declare the results of the presidential poll held on 7th and 8th December. By using pink sheets, they claim they have grounded their petition on mainly the facts and figures on the face of the sheets.
The party said this in a press statement soon after submitting their address with the Registry of the Supreme Court on Tuesday 30th July which is the deadline set by the panel of judges hearing the petition.
Their address, which spans some 176 pages, cites over 60 authorities and spells out the case for the petitioners.
The filing of addresses follows 46 days of Supreme Court action that has involved four witnesses, three petitioners from the NPP and three respondents.
The petitioners from the opposition NPP are Nana Akufo-Addo, flagbearer, Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia, vice-presidential candidate, and Jake Obetsebi Lamptey, National Chairman of the party. The respondents are President Mahama, Electoral Commission and the NDC.
The petitioners in their press statement revealed excerpts of their address, which reiterates the six main categories of irregularities, malpractices, violations and omissions in various combinations, which affected the results of the election as shown by pink sheets from 11,842 polling stations.
But the petitioners are relying on 10,119 pink sheets, “which spoke to the nature of the violations, malpractices, and irregularities grounding the petition.”
They said these categories of irregularities are clear breaches of the 1992 Constitution and other electoral laws and practices in Ghana.
The petitioners believe a true result of the 2012 presidential election after it is cured of all the infractions through the necessary annulments, should see Nana Akufo-Addo earning 56.85% with the first respondent, John Mahama, obtaining 41.79% of the valid votes cast.
The address also noted that the “respondents failed or refused to file any pink sheet, except the 17 pink sheets the 2nd respondent was compelled to tender in evidence on the penultimate day of trial, in an attempt to rebut damaging evidence led against it.”
It also notes that “beyond reliance on inconsequential reports of election observers, the respondents, in effect, tendered no evidence of substance of their own,” as they “all sought to whittle down and reduce the number of pink sheet exhibits petitioners had filed on grounds of defects in labeling of the pink sheets.”
But Victor Adawudu of the NDC's legal team after filing President Mahama's address with the Registry of the Supreme Court explained that the petitioners have been shifting the goal post of evidence they are seeking to rely on.
Speaking to Joy News, he said the petitioners have moved away from relying on 11,138 polling stations and are now relying on 10,119 polling stations.