By Margaret Jackson
May 13, 2013
The NPP have assigned various reasons why they went to court to contest the results of the 2012 Presidential Election. Chiefly among the reasons given is that they are in court to help clean up the mess in the Electoral Commission so as to vouch the sanctity of future elections and democracy in the country.
These days, the NPP’s “Three Wise Men” who are pursuing the case in court have been very careful to push the actual reason for their action to the background. But to everyone following the case, we all know that their real intensions is to get the justices on their side to throw away over 4 million valid votes in NDC strongholds in order to pave the way for Nana Akufo-Addo to become president.
Dr Mahamadu Bawumia, NPP’s 2012 vice presidential candidate and the evidence in chief in the on-going Supreme Court challenge has been the one spearheading this mantra that they are in court to ensure the sanctity of democracy in the Ghana.
But in his pursuit of this adventurous fishing expedition, Dr Bawumia has hit series of snags which has put into serious question not only his real motive but also his credibility.
In answers provided by Dr Bawumia during cross examination, one cannot fathom why he keeps citing the law yet when he is pointedly asked something about the law, Bawumia either feigns not to know it or claims he has never heard about it. One thing that pops up is his usual refrain that all votes on unsigned pink sheets by the presiding officers must be thrown away.
Yet, when he has even read from the guideline for the conduct of the 2012 election which he initially claimed he does not know of its existence, Bawumia is still sticking to his view that if a presiding officer does not sign a pink sheet the results on that sheet must be thrown away.
In Bawumia’s fishing expedition, he judiciously believes that the justices should not take into account the series of mistakes that Mr Tsatsu Tsikata has uncovered in the affidavits that he Bawumia presented, yet he thinks that it is proper for the justices to throw away more than 4 million votes due to administrative errors by presiding officers.
There was one thing that Bawumia did in court last week that raised a lot of eyebrows. Mr Tsikata read the following statement made by Nana Akufo-Addo after the NPP filed their case in court on December 28, 2012.
Now read the statement: “In emphasizing the importance of elections, it must be pointed out that the sanctity of the ballot is and must be supreme. In an election, we cast votes, then the votes are counted, the count is collated, the results are announced and formal declarations of results are made. In the entire process, we must never forget that it is the casting of the ballot that is sacred, the rest of the activities are at best, administrative duties. The count, the collation, the declaration of results cannot and should not be more important than the sacred, God-given right of a citizen casting his or her ballot. There is only one principle. Elections are about those who cast the vote, not those who count, not those who supervise, not those who transmit and not those who declare. The heart of the democratic process is about those who cast the vote”.
After this statement has been read in court, Mr Tsikata asked Dr Bawumia what Nana Akufo-Addo meant by administrative duties in that statement. But to the horror and angst of everyone, Bawumia stated brazenly that Akufo-Addo meant administrative malpractices.
Bawumia seems to have entangled himself with a lot of things, and the more you see him in court reverting to his talking points, the more he makes things extremely difficult for himself. Perhaps Bawumia is thinking that the justices will take into account his talking points and not his multiple admissions of error in his evidence gathering.
So far the only evidence that Bawumia has presented to the Supreme Court is the pink sheets which in itself is fraught with multiple, triple and quadruple errors. That’s about it. But Bawumia still wants the court to run with it in spite of the errors.
Dr Bawumia does not seem to care about the votes of others. All what he cares about is that if Akufo-Addo did not win in a certain area or polling station, the overall votes in that area is highly suspicious and therefore must be thrown away.
Those who followed Bawumia in this foolhardy fishing expedition have put their credibility on the line and they will all suffer at the end of it. The demeanour of Philip Addison and Gloria Akuffo in court these days tells it all. You can tell that they are struggling to defend this bad case which will taint their records.
When the television cameras show the NPP members who are in court, you could tell that they are crestfallen. I know many are saying it privately that Bawumia should never have taken them to this tortuous journey filled with embarrassing evidence.