By Margaret Jackson
April 20, 2013
In the courts of law your inattention to something very minute may lead to your undoing. In fact it may even lead to the total disintegration of your case. That is why when you are under cross-examination you need to pay extreme attention to anything that your opponent may utter in order for you to respond appropriately or get your points in scope.
On Thursday April 18, Mr Tony Lithur, counsel for President Mahama, the first respondent in the on-going dispute of the 2012 Presidential Election before the Supreme Court, had the first opportunity to put Dr Mahamadu Bawumia, the past NPP vice presidential candidate under cross-examination.
Ghanaians who saw the exchanges between Tony Lithur and Bawumia saw how the former pulled thirty eight (38) duplicated pink results sheets that Bawumia and Co. have tendered in evidence but have created different exhibit numbers from the same polling stations to deliberately shore up figures to back their claims to deceive the court.
Another serious issue which Tony Lithur pointed out during the cross-examination was that some of the serial numbers on the pink results sheets have been changed or tampered with whilst some of the duplicated pink results sheets have different signatures of the electoral officers.
But Bawumia who confirmed that all the 38 pink results sheets have been duplicated was all too happy to respond that none of the numbers on the duplicated pink results sheets have been double counted in his analysis. That is why Bawumia kept referring to his so-called CD ROM that if the justices view it on their computers they will find that he did not use the numbers on any of the pink results sheets twice. That was when Tony Lithur dropped the surprise which should have set Bawumia and the whole NPP thinking. But it seems Bawumia missed that fine line and kept saying again and again and again that he did not use the numbers on the pink results sheet twice.
Perhaps Bawumia may have been thinking or assumed during the cross-examination that the duplicated pink results sheets were pulled by Tony Lithur from the pack that they tendered in evidence, and that Lithur may not have had the chance to view his analysis on the CD ROM, which is why he kept referring to it at each giving turn.
Tony Lithur volunteered free information to Bawumia that he had indeed reviewed the mysterious CD ROM tendered by him and that he had even seen some of the numbers on the CD ROM counted quadruple times. Dr Bawumia may have completely missed what Mr Lithur added. Tony Lithur stated in clear language that it was because of the discrepancies he unravelled whilst reviewing the NPP CD ROM which led him to print those pink results sheets he was using during the cross-examination.
Bang! Wala! Bingo! The CD ROM mystery was broken, but Bawumia seem to have missed it otherwise he would not have continued to reference the CD ROM. This is one of the most vital information which Bawumia may have missed last Thursday.
Of course it is easy for you to miss such vital information if you are in the witness stand for the first time in your life and believe that just presenting your evidence without justification is enough to sail you through.
Bawumia may be thinking that the NDC did not see the analysis on his CD ROM before coming to court. If that is Bawumia’s view, then he may be treading on dangerous grounds because no good lawyer will go to court without reviewing pending evidence. And the way this case has so much at stake it will be suicidal for the NDC to leave anything to chance.
I will be very worried if I were Bawumia. And my anxiety will balloon if either knowingly or unknowingly any of the numbers that I used in my electoral dispute analysis were double counted. But my blood pressure will probably peak if I get home and find on my mysterious CD ROM that some of the duplicated pink results sheets have different signatures of the electoral officers.