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Opinions Sun, 28 Jul 2013

Bawumia’s “You And I Were Not There” Statement ...

... Will Sink NPP

We have been making fun of the “You And I Were Not There” statement by Dr Mahamadu Bawumia, NPP’s vice-presidential candidate in the last two General Elections without taking a deep dive into that statement which has the greatest predilection of sinking the NPP petition case at the Supreme Court into oblivion.

Dr Bawumia, who is one of the accusers and at the same time the witness-in-chief, left the witness box with the accolade, “You And I Were Not There”, because anytime the lawyers for the respondents put any question that relates to what happened at the polling stations, he retorted, “You And I Were No There”, that is why we are relying on what is on the face of the pink sheets.

I know very well that hearsay is not admissible in court that is why judges always rely on bare facts to determine the outcome of cases. Therefore, you will be killing your own case if you become a desktop analyst and assume that self-imposed analysis which is based on hearsay could be equated for hard facts on the ground.

The NPP went to court claiming that votes in over 11,000 polling stations have been tainted, therefore, it is requesting the Supreme Court (SC) to throw away over 4 million votes to pave the way for Nana Akufo-Addo, the defeated foe in the 2012 Election to become President and the Commander-in-Chief of the Ghana Armed Forces.

The only evidence that they sent to the SC are thousands of pink sheets. I do not have any qualms about the NPP sending pink sheets to the SC as their sole evidence. But in court you cannot be the accuser and the same time the sole witness when you are not privy to the evidence you have sent to court. In another vein, you can only be the accuser and the sole witness all rolled in one when you are aware about the facts on the ground.

Therefore, with Bawumia being the accuser and also shouting on top of his voice in the witness box that he was not at any of the polling stations under review and in fact did not witness any of the allegations in person, was the most unfortunate statement that will come back to bite the NPP severely when the case is finally determined by the nine justices of the SC.

Bawumia sent the pink sheets to court, which was okay. But he did not generate the pink sheets. He was not even one of the presiding officers and he did not fill out any of the pink sheets. Bawumia was also not around to witness just a single pink sheet being filled out by any of the presiding officers. That is why he was very careful in stating repeatedly that, “You and I were not there, so we are relying on what is on the face of the pink sheets.”

If you are accusing somebody of stealing and you go to court and do not call the accused to the witness box, but you go there and base your allegations on hearsay, then you have a misplaced case and that hearsay cannot be admitted in court. There were 26,002 presiding officers nationwide during the 2012 Elections. The NPP was able to determine that over 11,000 presiding officers did something uncanny.

President John Mahama was not there when those supposed irregularities occurred. In fact, Dr Afari Gyan, Electoral Commissioner was also not there when those allegations happened. But the over 11,000 presiding officers were all there, yet not a single one of them was called into the witness box to explain to the whole world what happened or what they did on the pink sheet on December 7 and 8, 2012. There was not a single one of them in the witness box!

We heard about blank spaces and dashes. We heard about some numbers being cancelled and replaced with the correct numbers. Those mistakes and corrections were not done by President Mahama, the NDC and Dr Afari Gyan. Every single presiding officer could have been identified and brought to the witness box to explain those dashes, blank spaces and cancellation of numbers. But the NPP chose not to do anything like that.

Instead, the all-knowing Dr Bawumia mounted the witness and used assumptions to inform the court what he thought the presiding officers may have done. What the NPP did was to equate hard facts with assumptions. Did you hear any of the justices talking about Bawumia’s so-called analysis which he repeated more than 2,000 times?

Even apart from the presiding officers, there were millions of NPP supporters who went to the polling stations under contention to vote. One is it that not a single person was called to the witness stand to say something to buttress their case? Again, you cannot go to court and accuse somebody of stealing from your backyard and use the law of probability or circumstantial evidence to nail the person when there are witnesses who you could have called to buttress your case!

Another issue that I want to stress is that in affidavit trial, when one party fails to deny an allegation made in the other party’s affidavit, that party is deemed to have admitted the fact or allegation set in that affidavit.

In filling their responses to the SC, the respondents made tons of allegations against the NPP to weaken their case, but the NPP did not care to challenge any of those allegations. In fact not a single one of those allegations by the respondents was debunked by the NPP.

Bawumia may have made that statement thinking it was going blow the respondents away. But that statement if exploited very well by the respondents will throw the NPP camp into a campaign of weeping and the gnashing of teeth. Indeed the, “YOU AND I WERE NOT THERE” statement by Dr Bawumia will sink the NPP.

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

Columnist: Jackson, Margaret