By Margaret Jackson
June 5, 2013
The nine justices of the Supreme Court (SC) finally spoke: Count the control pink sheets to confirm which party is telling the truth! The order was given to the KPMG, the accounting firm that is acting as the referee to determine the exact number of pink sheets submitted by the NPP with their affidavits to the court.
There has been a ranging controversy as to the number of pink sheets given to the respondents in the on-going SC challenge to the 2012 Presidential Election results by the NPP. The NPP initially claimed that they submitted 11,842 pink sheets to the SC and all the respondents.
But the respondents countered that the pink sheets submitted was far below the number quoted by the petitioners. In fact the respondents claimed that the pink sheets given by the NPP were less by 3,337. This generated a controversy in court, thereby leading the SC to order KPMG to audit the pink sheets submitted to settle the controversy.
It is very important to note that when the KPMG which is doing the auditing for free met representatives of the party to start the count, 7 strange additional boxes of pink sheets were detected in the offices of the SC Registrar leading to protestations from the respondents. The Judicial Secretary therefore had no option than to call for the suspension of the counting of the pink sheets.
This led the litigation parties to appear before the SC for new directions. The SC enjoined the KPMG to go ahead with the counting of the pink sheets but asked the accounting firm to take into account every complaint by the respondents.
But on the day that officials of the KPMG and representatives of the litigating parties went to the offices of the SC Registrar to resume the counting, they were hit with another amazing incident. To the astonishment of the respondents, somebody has again smuggled one box of pink sheets to the offices of the Registrar bringing the total tally of exhibit boxes from 24 to 32.
This manoeuvring and Machiavellian activities by some “invisible hands” however did not perturb KPMG which went ahead to do the counting. When the final results were out, it was found out that the number of pink sheets that the NPP claimed that they submitted has ballooned from 11,842 to 13,928. This certainly raised some eye browns leading the respondents to argue that before the counting started it was agreed that the pink sheets that the presiding judge received should serve as the control check, therefore KPMG should go ahead and count them.
But the NPP will have nothing of that. First they argued that the pink sheets at the Registrar’s office should be the only pink sheets that have to be counted. When that argument did not fly, they threatened to walk away. This situation compelled the Head of KPMG Africa to fly down from South Africa to Accra to help resolve the impasse.
During the meeting between the KPMG officials and the parties involved in the case, the KPMG Head stressed that since the number of pink sheets counted is different from the number of pink sheets submitted by the NPP, the only way the issue could be resolved is for the control pink sheets to be counted.
The respondents totally agreed with the KPMG on this, stressing that by counting the control pink sheets, it will let the whole world know which party is speaking the truth. But the NPP decided to take the duck by again threatening to walk out. But the Head of KPMG reminded the NPP that if they pull out, the counting will still go on since they were there as observers.
A resolution was reached that all the parties would meet on Monday June 3 to craft the way forward in the counting of the control pink sheets. But the NPP ambushed the meeting on Monday June 3 when they came with a letter stuck in their armpit that they will not go with the counting of the control pink sheets since it did not form part of the direction given to KPMG by the SC.
This sudden backtracking by the NPP sent the parties back to the SC to receive further directions on the way forward. The decision by the SC that the pink sheets at the presiding judge’s office should be counted is therefore a huge victory for the respondents.
The crestfallen NPP lawyer, Mr Philip Addison argued unsuccessfully about the counting of the pink sheets at the offices of the presiding judge, because if the number ties with that of the respondents it will definitely create problems for the NPP.
Indeed the justices have spoken and we live to see the outcome of the counting of pink sheets at the offices of the presiding judge to settle the quandary on the number of pink sheets submitted by the NPP once and for all.