Opinions Sat, 1 Jun 2013
By Margaret JacksonMay 31, 2013
At a time that the leadership of the NPP are seeing their bogus petition slipping through their hands, the least they expect from one of their own is to say something that seriously puts the party’s claim or credibility on the on-going Supreme Court (SC) petition into serious doubt.
At the heart of the pending case before the SC is the contention by the NPP’s star witness, Dr Mahamadu Bawumia that the NPP’s polling agents did not have any leeway or power in challenging any irregularities they may have witnessed at the 26,002 polling stations during the 2012 Presidential Election because they were “Exalted Agents”.
Even after Bawumia has been forced in the witness box during his cross-examination, to five (5) times read the Guide to Candidates and Agents published and distributed to political parties by the Electoral Commission ahead of the 2012 polls, he amazingly stuck to his gun that the NPP polling agents were simply sent to the polling stations to sign off to malpractices.
But the role of a polling agent is well cut out and considered very important by the EC since it enhances the credibility of elections. Polling agents are expected not only to arrive at the polling stations in time to observe the preparations before voting begins, but are also expected to help in the detection of impersonators at polling stations. Furthermore, one of their roles is to help prevent multiple voting and also prevent people who try to tamper with the contents of a ballot box.
All the three respondents in the petition have stressed that as far as the NPP have their agents at all the 26,002 polling stations who did not raise any protests concerning any irregularities at any of the polling stations, and they signed their signatures to attest to the transparency, as well as free and fair elections, the NPP have no case crying wolf where there is none.
It is therefore very heart-warming news for the respondents to hear one of the NPP top guns, Dr Charles Wereko-Brobby come out of the woods to inform Ghanaians that the NPP did a lousy job by training their polling agents a night before the Election Day.
Dr Wereko-Brobby who is also known as Tarzan, made matters even worse for the petitioners when he exposed them for recruiting uneducated polling agents who could not even send simple text messages during the 2012 election.
This dagger which Tarzan thrust into the heart of the NPP during his interview with one of the radio stations in Accra did not go down well with the NPP who have been reeling under severe pressure following revelations that their understanding of the entire electoral process is hollow.
The NPP who have no room for recalcitrant members and supporters immediately condemned Tarzan claiming he was not a member of the party. But the harm caused by Tarzan is very huge and damaging since it falls in line with what the respondents have been saying that Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, the twice defeated NPP flagbearer, is simply playing mischief by going to court after he has bitterly lost the election to President Mahama.
To me what Tarzan said is a serious setback to the NPP who are hoping against hope and have simply resorted to jubilating anytime an objection raised by their counsel is sustained by the nine justices hearing the case. The other time I heard a leading member of the party counting the number of objections they have won at the SC and pointing to the fact that it is a sure indication that they have the case going for them.
Such blatant lies or ignorance are the two main issues killing the NPP in this petition case. The leadership of the party has done well to keep most of the NPP supporters in the dark about the true nature of the case, thereby making their supporters have the false notion that they will by all means win the case.
This is no ordinary case before the SC. Even though it is considered a civil case, it is also a constitutional case and has no precedent. Therefore, the assumptions by the NPP that this case will be based purely on civil legalities, is at best very misleading.
The onus is on the NPP to prove their case beyond every reasonable doubt because the outcome of this case is very huge and will affect the lives of so many people in the country. Therefore, it is no ordinary case as being assumed by the NPP. I believe it’s about time the NPP start educating their supporters about the possible outcome of the case in order to save them from weeping and gnashing of their teeth when the verdict comes.
Columnist: Jackson, Margaret