NPP Petition Case Based On Desk Top Exercise

Wed, 7 Aug 2013 Source: Blankson, Nana Kow

By Nana Kow Blankson

August 6, 2013

Lawyers for President John Mahama are set to argue in their closing address that the so-called NPP petition case is not based on actual events that happened at the polling stations during the December 2012 General Elections.

“The petition was not based on actual events that happened during the December 2012 Election. By his own admission, Dr Bawumia testified that they sat behind a desk and punched in details from the pink sheets onto a computer, looking to find fault from the entries made on the face of the pink sheets. It is out of this desk top exercise that they formulated their petition”, President Mahama’s lawyers would argue.

According to the first respondents, the petitioners have no case since they failed woefully to prove that there were any irregularities and malpractices in the conduct of the December 2012 Elections.

“When you are asking the Supreme Court to deprive people of their constitutionally guaranteed right to vote, you need to prove. Don’t rely on only the face of the pink sheet. You need concrete evidence of wrong-doing.”

President Mahama’s lawyers would also take a strong view concerning biometric machines, pointing out that if NPP polling agents have at any point in time noticed that there were some people who were being allowed to vote without being verified, they would have raised hell in prescribed form about it.

“Voting took two days in certain parts of the country because of the breakdown of biometric machines. Where the machines broke down, NPP took the position that nobody should be allowed to vote until the machines had been replaced. If indeed voting took place at polling stations without biometric verification, 1st Petitioner’s polling agents would have noticed and reported it, or, at the very least, complained in prescribed form about it.” “And yet, none of the petitioners’ polling agents complained that anybody voted without prior biometric verification. In fact, they signed the pink sheets on which the results were recorded without protest.” The President’s lawyers will further pitch strongly that Dr Mahamadu Bawumia, the star witness of the petitioners admitted that they came to court with the huge pile of pink sheets without bothering to verify from their own polling agents the true nature or otherwise of the pink sheets they intended to reply on in court.

“Dr Bawumia admitted that when they collected the pink sheets from the polling agents to bring to court, they did not even bother to verify from them whether or not the details on the pink sheets they intended to reply on were true or not. Not surprisingly, not a single affidavit was produced in court by petitioners in proof of the allegation of voting without biometric verification; not even from the petitioners’ own polling agents from whom they obtained the pink sheets.”

President Mahama’s lawyers who are unhappy about the behaviour of the petitioners are of the view that since NPP agreed that the name of everybody who voted during the elections was on the biometric register, they cannot call for the annulment of their votes.

“Even assuming that people voted without prior biometric verification, that cannot result in the annulment of their votes because petitioners agreed that the name of everybody who voted during the elections was on the on the biometric register, and that had been properly identified before being permitted to vote.” “The constitutionally guaranteed right to vote cannot be taken away by reason of the failure of biometric verification machines over which the voters had no control.”


Columnist: Blankson, Nana Kow