The NPP’s politics of pink sheets falls flat (Part II)

Sun, 12 May 2013 Source: Bokor, Michael J. K.

By Dr. Michael J.K. Bokor

Friday, May 10, 2013

Bawumia may stand his ground to reject Tsatsu’s claim but his own admission that such errors were genuine acts of human fallibility (as is evident in the anomalies and inconsistencies in the petitioners’ own pink sheet exhibits) has done much damage to his credibility.

If the petitioners’ own documents can have such enormous errors (in respect of the 11,000 pink sheet exhibits), what couldn’t be the problem with the recording of data on the pink sheets for the 26,000 polling stations that the EC dealt with at Election 2012?

More importantly, the fact that the booklets containing the pink sheets had many copies and couldn’t all have clear signatures or entries made by the Presiding Officers or party agents is a simple matter that can be understood easily without question.

Again, the fact that polling agents and the various party agents did not lodge any protest at any of the polling stations whose pink sheets the NPP petitioners pleaded as affidavits is a major loss for the petitioners.

Tsatsu’s interrogation has proved to us how this particular aspect is damaging to the petitioners’ cause. If the party’s agents who were on the ground and observed what happened on election day didn’t complain about any irregularity (as is confirmed by their signatures on the pink sheets), what moral right have Bawumia and his co-petitioners who were not present at those polling stations to claim that irregularities occurred?

In any case, the agents had every right to protest at any irregularity and indicate so officially; but they did not do so. As Tsatsu sought to explain, the lack of protest from such party agents confirms that nothing irregular happened. What could be clearer than this argument?

Again, Bawumia’s disparaging of the NPP’s own party agents raises very disturbing questions. If those agents didn’t report any malpractice, on what basis would the petitioners be complaining and bothering the Supreme Court to overturn the outcome of the elections?

Furthermore, the interrogation that has yielded answers from Bawumia concerning the selective gathering of pink sheets to suggest that the petitioners acted in “bad faith” for not including pink sheets from the NPP’s strongholds is a major blow to the petitioners.

No court will entertain such lopsidedness. Here is how a source on Ghanaweb put it:

“If the petitioners wanted the court to evaluate the integrity of the 2012 Presidential election and arrive at a just conclusion without prejudice to any party, it is incumbent on the petitioners, in the interest of fairness and equity, to subject the whole of the 24,000 pink sheets to the same scrutiny as they accorded the 11,000 pink sheets that they tendered as evidence.

Whether coincidentally or by design (which is more likely), those 11,000 pink sheets pleaded as their “water-tight evidence” were selected from the constituencies won by the first respondent (President Mahama).

By excluding more than half of the total polling stations in the country, and without including any pink sheets from the constituencies won by the first petitioner (Akufo-Addo), it is impossible for this court to arrive at a correct decision, using a limited number of pink sheets as evidence.”

One major inroad made by Tsatsu into the NPP’s case is that the irregularities alleged on the face of the pink sheet exhibits do not necessarily constitute over-voting. Bawumia has helped Tsatsu’s cause by admitting that neither he nor Tsatsu were at the polling stations to know what exactly transpired. Therefore, how reliable could Bawumia’s own testimony in respect of only the pink sheets be?

Even before the EC’s Chairman, Dr. Kwadwo Afari-Gyan, enters the witness box to clarify issues concerning the technicalities (over-voting, biometric verification, signatures on the pink sheets, entries on Form C1, etc.), it is clear that the NPP petitioners’ case is crumbling. It is so because of the numerous admissions of anomalies made by Bawumia and the loopholes that are emerging in the quantum and quality of evidence from their pink sheet exhibits.

All in all, the Supreme Court is more interested in EVIDENCE (based on the pink sheet exhibits) than Bawumia’s ANALYSIS of the data on the pink sheets.

I am persuaded that the Court will not even factor Bawumia’s ANALYSIS into its judgement because that so-called analysis is nothing but a dangerously self-opinionated act of desperation. My limited knowledge of the workings of the Courts and the law tells me that it is EVIDENCE, not OPINION, which the Courts consider in their determination of cases. Bawumia’s ANALYSIS is no evidence to turn the judges’ crank.

That is why I laugh a lot whenever Bawumia seeks refuge in his ANALYSIS whenever he makes any admission of error.

In all honesty, Bawumia may be credited with eloquence and the penchant for sarcasm (as is evident in his repartees to Tony Lithur, Quashie-Idun, and Tsatsu); but undoubtedly, he is abysmally ignorant of the workings of the court system. He doesn’t know how to separate OPINIONS from EVIDENCE and how to stay on course to establish a clear line of answering questions. He deceives himself that the more he talks, the more he impresses the judges. Wasted energy!!

His ignorance and inexperience have played him into the hands of the respondents’ lawyers and it will cost the petitioners.

As we wait for further developments, we wonder why Akufo-Addo (who is credited with knowledge of the workings of the court system) is hiding in the shadows for Bawumia (the novice) to face the bullet so early in the hearing of this case. I hope he will have his day in court for us to see if there will be any difference to point us in a new direction. Until then, all we can say is that this tired, worn-out, and lopsided petition cannot win the day for him and the NPP. I have said so already and will stick my neck out to reiterate that the NPP has already lost the case.

If for nothing at all, the Supreme Court will be guided in its judgement by the benefits of the lesser evil: confirming President Mahama’s victory as against favouring Akufo-Addo. It is clear that the country will have less problems to deal with if the Court reaffirms President Mahama’s victory than if it rules in favour of Akufo-Addo. Political expediency and national security interests will come to play.

Clearly, time is even against Akufo-Addo. Five months into the administration of President Mahama, who will have the guts to pronounce him illegitimate and call for his government to be disbanded? I can’t imagine what will happen in the country, anyway!!

Two, how will Akufo-Addo be installed in office to rule Ghana after over 4 million votes would have been annulled for his sake? How is he going to rule with the minority in Parliament, anyway? Again, what is there for him to fit into? Nothing!!

All said and done, what is happening at the Supreme Court is nothing but an exercise in futility for purposes of providing case laws for academic purposes. I can see the proceedings as yielding input for the training of future lawyers for the country and not geared at replacing President Mahama and his government with an Akufo-Addo one.

Elections are won at the polls, not in the dark chambers of the Supreme Court. The millions of Ghanaians who voted for President Mahama in 8 of the country’s 10 regions as well as the hundreds of thousands who rooted for him even in the NPP’s strongholds of the Ashanti and Eastern Regions where Akufo-Addo won will not sit down unconcerned for their franchise to be discredited.

That is why the Supreme Court will be guided by reality, not the tantrums of lawyer Addison or the wishful thinking of Akufo-Addo and Bawumia’s useless analysis shrouded in “Bawumetrics”.

Every reason exists at this stage for me to be confident that this NPP petition is a washout to be pooh-poohed. Those who think otherwise can continue nursing vain hopes instead of the bruises caused them at Election 2012 and refuse to put their house in order toward Election 2012. As for me and my household, we will have none of Akufo-Addo because he is not our choice for President.

He can choose to remain adamant and be deceived by the threatricals of Kwadwo Owusu-Afriyie, the NPP’s General Secretary and all others blowing hot air just to remain relevant in the Concert Party that they have turned the NPP into. And Ghanaians are enjoying those Concert Party shows to the full. More of those, buddies!!

I shall return…

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Columnist: Bokor, Michael J. K.