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Opinions Thu, 2 May 2013

Bawumia Stumbling Into The Bush

By Margaret Jackson

April 30, 2013

For the first time in the history of the on-going Supreme Court (SC) petition by the NPP, counsel for the NDC, Mr Tsatsu Tsikata was able to force Dr Mahamadu Bawumia, the NPP evidence in chief to admit in court that he headed a committee to pour into the pink results sheet looking for anomalies without the advice of any lawyer.

And to make matters worse for Bawumia who seems to be stumbling into the bush with his withering evidence, he conceded that he adopted his own way of determining what constitutes an electoral illegality without referencing to any existing laws by the Electoral Commission.

Dr Bawumia who seems sobered and subdued was repeatedly put on the defensive by Tsatsu Tsikata, leading Bawumia to admit to many errors in the gathering of his own evidence before the SC.

With Tsatsu seriously determined to tear into shreds the so-called evidence by Bawumia and Co., he drew Bawumia’s attention to the fact that there were several instances that the NPP could have yelled that there were electoral malpractices, yet because there was none the NPP could not provide just a single complaint from all the 26,002 polling stations nationwide.

Mr Tsatsu Tsikata, asked Bawumia if the NPP who had polling agents all over were able to raise any objections concerning the conduct of the elections and the declaration of the results from the polling stations, through the collation centres to the EC headquarters, but Bawumia painfully admitted that they did nothing to that effect. Bawumia even made a mockery of himself when he told the court that he never visited any polling stations during the elections.

Mr Tsikata then asked Bawumia if any protest was raised at any collation centre concerning anybody voting without going through biometric verification. Bawumia out of shame stated that he was not at every collation centre. His attention was however drawn by Tsatsu that the NPP had polling agents at all the collation centres, therefore if anybody voted without going through biometric verification, they could have raised an alarm.

Dr Bawumia, who seemed overwhelmed by the technicalities being adopted by Tsatsu Tsikata in his cross-examination, could not help but agree with Tsatsu on almost every single issue Tsatsu raised during the cross-examination. And for the first time we saw Bawumia totally abandoning his talking points after he initially engaged Tsatsu in a legal tussle. That was when Justice Atuguba drew Bawumia’s attention that he was in court and not engaged in a vice-presidential debate, therefore he must answer the questions as succinctly as possible.

Mr Tsatsu Tsikata who was very meticulous, calm but very resolute then went for the killer punches which took everybody by surprise. He did not argue with Bawumia nor allowed him to weave and dance around the questions, but put some issues forward which Bawumia tied himself with. It was so carefully done that the NPP supporters and lawyers in court were held spellbound. For once Philip Addison, Bawumia’s lead counsel went into perpetual vacation without any interjections.

Now here’s how Tsatsu went about it. He first asked Bawumia to confirm if the committee members that looked into the pink sheets have generated their figures in the analysis. But Bawumia stated emphatically that he had personally checked every single pink result sheet before the analysis was made.

Immediately, Tsatsu Tsikata produced 137 pink sheets which Bawumia claims he had personally checked it. But it was found that many of those pink sheets were from the same polling stations but have different labels. Bawumia who was hit like a thunderbolt stated that is was due to mislabeling.

Mr Tsikata who knew what he was going in for, then brought another set of pink sheets and upon careful examination Bawumia conceded that there was a problem with how the commissioner of oath endorsed it even though Bawumia claimed he and some NPP lawyers were there when the oath was administered.

Tsikata then produced different sets of pink sheets brought to court by the NPP which Bawumia again and again conceded that they were full of errors. All these were done by Tsikata to draw attention to the fact that Bawumia and Co. who are crying foul of electoral fraud are themselves involved in situations where their evidence before the SC is full of errors and inconsistencies.

The exuberance that have so far been exhibited by Bawumia seems to be all gone. In fact many people who watched TV and listened to the radio have come to the conclusion that Bawumia was simply a pale shadow of himself. And I bet Bawumia is painfully stumbling gradually to the bush with his torn evidence trailing after him.

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

Columnist: Jackson, Margaret