By Margaret Jackson
May 6, 2013
It is a fact that most Ghanaians do not understand court proceedings. The truth is that most Ghanaians don’t know how cases are prosecuted and how the defence teams work to debunk claims in court. Even with the live telecast of the on-going Supreme Court (SC) case in which Dr Mahamadu Bawumia and Co are challenging the results of the 2012 Presidential Election, most Ghanaians are still lost on what is going on.
Whilst some do not understand why the case is taking so long, others are at a loss to why those cross-examining Bawumia keep asking basically the same questions on most of the pink results sheets. And to make matters worse, the NPP folks who have been on the receiving end concerning their hollow case are cashing in on the ignorance of Ghanaians on court proceedings by lambasting Mr Tsatsu Tsikata for doing a lousy job in court.
The NPP folks who are smelling defeat in their bogus case before the Supreme Court have started planting stories aimed at demoralizing the NDC supporters. They are muddying the waters with bogus claims that the NDC supporters mostly the foot-soldiers are not happy with the way Tsatsu Tsikata is cross-examining Bawumia in court. And to add insult to injury, the NPP folks are also claiming that Tsatsu is wasting too much time in laboriously questioning Bawumia.
First off, I would like Ghanaians to know that this is an affidavit case. So extraordinary is the case that we have the NPP which have presented affidavits on some 11,318 pink results sheets. The claim on each pink sheet is unique and therefore different.
Secondly, we have the NPP saying that the Electoral Commission and to some extent the NDC committed crimes on each of the pink sheets. If that is the case, you do not expect Mr Tsikata to go court and debunk claims on some few hundreds of the pink sheets and wrap up his defence.
Mr Tsatsu Tsikata has the responsibility of discrediting each of the 11,318 pink sheets that the NPP have presented in court as evidence. The NDC lead counsel cannot afford to contest only some few hundreds and leave the rest at the discretion of the SC justices. Only a bad lawyer who does not know his job will do that.
For instance, if somebody sends you to court for stealing his goat, sheep, cassava, cellular phone, money and some few tomatoes, you cannot afford to go to court not prepared to defend yourself. In the defence box, you can never debunk claims concerning the goat, sheep and tomatoes and leave the claims on the cassava, cellular phone and money at the discretion of the judge sitting on the case.
In court once you are accused on something or on several other things, you have the sole responsibility of defending each of the claims. Therefore, it will be suicidal for Tsatsu Tsikata to contest some few of the pink sheets in question and leave the rest for the justices. The justices will judge the case not only on its merit but on every single pink sheet that the NPP presented to the court.
The NPP who have seen Tsatsu doing a masterful job of continuously punching holes in all the pink sheets they have tendered, feel very uncomfortable that their so-called water tight evidence are being shredded by Tsatsu with each passing day, which is why they want him to abandon the rest of the pink sheets by crying that he is wasting time in court.
It is extremely important for the NDC supporters who do not understand court proceedings to just take the back seat and allow Tsatsu to do his job. Tsatsu will not take this high profile case and fail the NDC people. He knows what he is doing, and because it is cutting deep into the NPP’s mountain of evidence, they are seeking to railroad him.
Mr Tsikata has 11,138 pink sheets to contend with. And it does not matter how long it takes for him to discredit all. Therefore, he must be given the space to do what he is supposed to do in the interest of the NDC and Ghanaians as a whole. To me, Mr Tsatsu Tsikata is spot on and doing a fantastic job.