Afari Gyan, last days are always dangerous

Sat, 20 Jul 2013 Source: Okofo-Dartey, Samuel

Those of us who were greatly privileged to have gone through all the levels of Ghana’s education will attest to the fact that at various points or times in our academic pursuit, we were severally bombarded with the cliché: last days are always dangerous. Readers will agree that anyone who took this gem of counsel lightly paid dearly for their follies especially during an impending examination, few days to vacation, or few days before the completion of school.

However, in the case of Afari Gyan, he conveniently threw this caution to the dogs and together with his counsel of ‘legallings’, they have plunged themselves into a muddy pool. Afari Gyan has indeed reserved the best wine for the last two days in the dock and the petitioners have savoured its taste without hesitation.

Dr Afari Gyan in his frail wisdom thought he could deal an overpowering blow to the petitioners’ case but found himself in his own web of shoddy work. The five sets of pink sheets which are made up of seventeen unique pink sheets totally exposed his double standards as the head of the electoral commission.

As Philip Addison concluded his cross-examination on the back of those seventeen troublesome and suspicious pink sheets, there were more questions lingering on the minds of most Ghanaians than answers. How can a pink sheet from the electoral commissioners’ stable be seen to have been completed with two different inks instead of one ink? The acceptable standard is that a presiding officer ought to complete a pink sheet with one ink and not two inks per pink sheet.

That aside, the curious thing is that the petitioners pink sheet which was a coloured replica of the electoral commission’s own copy had one type of ink used in completing the form. In this regard, what occasioned this blunder on the E.C.’s copy? When was this change effected? One may want to know, how many pink sheets are there in the E.C.’s custody that bear this anomaly?

That which seems baffling is that among the seventeen pink sheets produced by the E.C., there were some that had been signed by party polling officers while on the face of the petitioners’ pink sheets there were clearly no signatures on the same pink sheets. That is, the number of party polling agents who signed on the E.C.’s pink sheets is not the same as the number of party polling agents on the petitioners’ pink sheets. Interestingly, whereas the E.C. had ‘Amuzu’ as the surname of a polling officer on one of its pink sheets, that of the petitioners’ was ‘Awuzu.’ How on earth can this copious disparity occur? Who is twisting what?

Of a truth, Afari Gyan in a desperate attempt to cover his trespasses failed to decipher that the petitioners will unravel the cancellations of figures on his pink sheets when in fact on the face of the petitioners’ pink sheets there were no such cancellations. So, the question is, when did these cancellations take place? Were they cancelled at the polling station, collation centre or at the regional offices of the E.C.?

Readers will recall that after the petitioners had lodged or filed their case and were about having their day in court, there were reports of some individuals who were purportedly from the E.C. calling on presiding officers to sign their unsigned portions. (See EC Officials Apprehended For Allegedly Attempting To Sign Pink Sheets- Peacefmonline.com) If unsigned pink sheets had no legal implication, why was the E.C. under the cover of darkness coercing presiding officers to sign after the elections were over?

Well, some of us are tempted to believe that whenever the comfy nest of the EC is rattled to stand for the truth, it always goofs. And it seems the latter days of Afari Gyan have confirmed my suspicions. His attempt to cover up or rebut the petitioners’ claim of duplicate serial numbers has rather led to crucial revelations that would not have manifested. No wonder most of the time, he fumbled and became economical with the truth when he was confronted with the realities on his own pink sheets.

Now for those who unintelligently saw no sense in the petitioners resort to the law court for their grievances to be heard, they should rather bow or burry their heads in shame. The positives of this election petition far out-weigh the negatives. The Chief Justice must be commended for granting the call by the NPP and well meaning Ghanaians to beam live the court proceedings. This move has cured a lot of mischiefs by vile propagandists.

There were notable figures in the NDC who gratuitously commented that the whole process was a complete waste of time and that Ghanaians should not take the petitioners serious. I guess now they are their notes. Most Ghanaians will appreciate that the EC has more to do to sanitise and propose better electoral reforms. As a result of this electoral petition, people are taking keen interest to learn more about the laws of the country, safeguard the rule of law not the rule of thugs, vandals and lawless politicians.

As it stands, Afari Gyan has had a fair share of his direction for the petitioners to go to court when they raised concerns about the irregularities that besmirched the electoral processes. He thought he was untouchable in his lofty but fragile electoral citable. He thought that as the captain of his electoral ship, no one could question or challenge his decisions and integrity. Justice William Atuguba best sums it thus, ‘when you tell people to go to court, go to court, it is not that simple.’

From the little I gleaned from Afari Gyan’s erratic demeanour and constant concessions to his failures as evidenced on the face of his pink sheets, I am tempted to believe that if he had the power to withdraw the pink sheets he gladly brought to court to discredit the petitioners, he would have done so without a second thought. In fact, his last days in the witness box have been a political windfall for the petitioners and he seems to have spent his latter days licking his mortal wounds.


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Columnist: Okofo-Dartey, Samuel