By Margaret Jackson
August 15, 2013
There is this saying that, “He who fights and runs away lives to fight another day.” And if this saying is any indication, then Mr Philip Addison, lead counsel for Nana Akufo-Addo and Co. had his hands full when the Justices of Supreme Court (SC) hearing the 2012 Presidential Election petition case met on Wednesday to seek clarification from lawyers for the petitioners and respondents.
But due to the contempt charge hanging on the necks of Kwadwo Owusu Afriyie, NPP’s General Secretary and Hopeson Adorye, a member of the NPP Communication Team, most Ghanaians may have missed the part when the SC torched the cold feet of Philip Addison with hot coals with a question concerning serial numbers.
It would be recalled that Nana Akufo-Addo having realized that his allegation concerning unsigned pink sheets by presiding officers is falling apart, repackaged his allegations and enhanced the allegation on duplicate serial numbers as his number one.
Therefore, in the address filed by Nana Akufo-Addo and Co., the issue on duplicate serial numbers on the pink sheets played a major role in the repackaged laundry list of allegations by the NPP. Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, the twice defeated presidential candidate of the NPP, who has refused to go away and is trying hard to win the election through the court, made it known in his address which is being rumoured that he authored it, that the SC should cancel almost 3 million votes from polling stations that had the same serial numbers on the pink sheets.
This strange behaviour by the NPP on duplicated serial numbers was not well received by the Electoral Commission (EC) and the lawyers for President John Mahama and the NDC, who pointed out that serial numbers have never played any part in elections conducted by the EC. In fact, it was explained in court that the EC does not even generate serial numbers on the pink sheets and that it was the printers who generated the serial numbers to help them determine the total number of pink sheets they printed.
The respondents, led by the EC even went further in explaining that polling stations are identified by all political parties by their unique names and codes, and there has never been a situation that any political party or the EC has identified any polling station by serial numbers on the pink sheet.
The attention of the court was also drawn to the fact that polling stations that were broken into two due to the large number of voters on the register used pink sheets with the same serial numbers. For instance if we have Akufo-Addo Polling Station and the number of voters on the register numbered about 1,200, the EC can break it into two polling stations, Akufo-Addo Polling Station A and Akufo-Addo Polling Station B and allow both stations to use two pink sheets with the same serial numbers.
Again, the court was made to understand that the essential security personnel and other election officials who voted a day earlier before the Election Day at certain polling stations used pink sheets with the same serial numbers.
But Philip Addison will have nothing of this, as he kept insisting in court that serial numbers play a major role in the identification of pink sheets, therefore, he suspected foul play with the duplication of serial numbers on pink sheets, which is why he called for the cancellation of over nearly 3 million votes from polling stations that the used the pink sheets with the same serial numbers.
Philip Addison, who argued passionately on the duplicated serial number issue, may have thought that he hit a home run and perhaps he was going to get his wish granted by the SC. But little did he know that there was a question lurking somewhere for him to clarify.
A member of the SC panel out of the blue posed this serious but important question to Philip Addison to explain to the court, if serial numbers on election sheets has played any role or been an issue in past elections held in the country.
That was when Philip Addison started to melt as he found himself on the ropes. Addison could not tell the court if serial numbers have been used to identify polling stations and simply started to beat about the bush with his answer. When his attention was drawn to the fact that he has not answered the question, Addison again failed to inform the court whether serial numbers have been used in past elections to identify polling stations.
Addison fought the respondents with this blatant lie concerning duplicated serial numbers on pink sheets and ran away thinking he was done, but the SC gave him the chance to fight again on that issue. But since truth always triumph over lies; Philip Addison froze on the question concerning duplicated serial numbers when it counted the most.
In fact, Philip Addison, the lawyer who would be remembered for fighting everybody in court, when put on the ropes by the SC to shine, failed woefully because all his allegations were trump up charges, which are unmeritorious and without any foundation. Haba! I am trying to speak like Nana Ato Dadzie, the spokesperson for President Mahama and the NDC. Good Day!