Opinions Sat, 6 Apr 2013

Why do Supreme Court and Ben Ephson say NO

to Live Telecast of .......

I really wonder the level of intelligence of certain people when they talk. Do they think; do they critically analyse what they intend placing in the public domain for public consumption before they put such views across?

A supposedly renowned Ghanaian pollster, a quack one by my estimation of course, has shared his views on the petition filed in the Supreme Court by Nana Akufo Addo and Co. over the alleged electoral malpractices and irregularities that took place on 7 & 8 December 2012. He is the person of one Ben Ephson. He may be a respected pollster by the Ghanaian standard and sorry to say, by the understanding of mostly the many Ghanaian "educated illiterates".

I am not interested in discussing his poll predictions and their credulity but his wading all the way into the discussion of the stance taken by the Supreme Court not to allow the live telecast of the court proceedings when the judges begin to hear the substantive case as from 16 April 2013.

According to a publication on Ghanaweb under its General News edition of Tuesday, 2 April 2013 titled, "Supreme Court can work without live telecast - Ben Ephson", he presents, and explains, his views using totally dissimilar case scenarios. He had wanted to use an analogy to buttress his contention but in such an attempt, as little intelligent as I perceive him to be, he flopped totally.

"In an interview on Radio Gold, Mr. Ephson maintained that “…televising it, if you don’t have the evidence, you don’t have it. If your evidence is flawed, the live telecast would not reignite flawed evidence or bring credibility to it…it is like using basket to fetch water”.

Why is televising it in the absence or not, of credible evidence analogous to using basket to fetch water? Televising it will enhance the credibility and integrity of the judges who, as part of the Ghana judiciary have by some acts of commission blemished their reputation in the eyes of a majority of the Ghanaian public. People watching it live would be judges unto themselves in the comfort of their homes or in their precarious states of not knowing what to do but hoping for a ray of hope.

Live telecast would have removed any doubt from the minds of people. It would have helped them to appreciate the situation quicker, tell whether the evidences being presented by the petitioners are credible or not. It would also inform the public and the world by the same domain if indeed, the Electoral Commission, President John Dramani Mahama and the NDC did actually rig the election in favour of John Mahama. Having cautiously prepared the public this way, any eventual verdict pronounced by the Supreme Court would not come to hit them like a thunderbolt.

Why the Supreme Court and the NDC camp are afraid of televising the proceedings live? I understand the judges claim they are old-fashioned (conservatives) and are not open to the diversities of modern technology. I disagree with them if this is their sole excuse for refusing the live telecast. We could easily arrange to get people from London at no cost to the Supreme Court to come over with simple but sophisticated machines or even Apple iPad tablets to help telecast the proceedings to the whole world. Is this difficult to do or the judges want to hide their identity from the greater public?

Some NDC members with Johnson Asiedu Nketiah fronting as usual think they have won the case already the fact that the Supreme Court is going to consider only two things. As little minds as they are, they seek to psychologically play on the intelligence of people. They are just a bunch of laughing stock.

The Supreme Court will seek to determine:

1. If election malpractices, irregularities and fraud contradictory to STATUTORY requirements were committed during the election

2. If there were any acts of election malpractices, irregularities and fraud committed, were they enough to affect the election results in favour or in disfavour of any of the parties involved?

Having narrowed what the judges will be looking at as stated above, some little mind like Asiedu Nketiah thinks his party has won the Supreme Court case long before it is heard.

Let it be known to Asiedu Nketiah and his like-minded narrow-minded NDC fanatics that the court will be looking at exactly what the petitioners have alleged that resulted in John Mahama unfortunately dubiously been declared the President of Ghana.

Let me take this opportunity to educate some people who are though educated, they still find it difficult to understand STATUTORY in the terms as sought to imply by the Supreme Court. Statutory means (anything) prescribed or authorised by Statute. STATUTE means an enactment made by a legislature and expressed in a formal document. When you refer to the Constitution, it bequeaths certain authority on the Electoral Commission that enables the Chairman of the Electoral Commission to set out rules for any election as he sees fit in what then becomes Constitutional Instrument (CI). The clausal stipulations or bylaws set out in the CI73 or CI74 and the inter-party cum Electoral Commission agreed minutes of the meetings forming the basis of the election 2012 are all statutory based or backed.

Those who think people had the right to vote in Ghana during election 2012 without going through biometric verification must be kidding. My White lawyers who advise me on certain issues relating to the petition filed in the Supreme Court by Nana Akuffo Addo and Co. against Dr. Afari Gyan and John Mahama on election irregularities, malpractices and fraud as pending before the Supreme Court question as following:

1. What was the purpose of Ghanaian voters undergoing voter biometric registration?

2. Why did the Electoral Commission import voter biometric verification machines into the country?

3. Why did the Electoral Commission send at least one voter biometric verification machine to each of the about 26,000 polling stations in Ghana during election 2012?

4. How were the machines to be used or why were they sent to the polling stations at all? Did they have a defined duty to perform and if so, did they scrupulously perform that duty? If they did not, why did they not?

5. What were the aim and objective of the Chairman of the Electoral Commissioner and his/her outfit by employing the biometric verification machines. Was it to ensure fairness, equality, rid Ghana elections of double or multiple voting by a single individual, ensure that only eligible persons of Ghanaian nationality cast votes at elections or to encourage any Tom, Dick and Harry to vote in Ghana elections?

5. Did the biometric machines effectively apply in the election, if not, why? If they were not used as intended, did it contravene any bylaws, as enshrined in the Constitutional Instruments or terms of minutes of the meetings they all agreed on? If their non usage for any reason cannot be justifiably explained in terms of the set bylaws as permitted by the Constitution or empowering statutory clause, could the votes cast in such polling stations then be concluded as illegal? If the votes could still not be deemed illegal even though the voters did not submit to biometric verification, why could it not be? If they could be declared illegal, how could they?

6. Were some people not denied voting rights in some polling centres for failure of recognition by the biometric verification machines? Were some people elsewhere allowed to vote without submitting to the biometric machine?

7. If instances of both situations in no.6 did occur, how does the Chairman of the Electoral Commission reconcile both situations? How does he interpret the situation in terms of the governing rules set out in his Constitutional Instruments (CIs) and minutes of the meetings?

8. Were the CIs on which the election 2012 organised by the Electoral Commission backed by any Constitutional statute?

They asked loads of questions but I cannot write them all here today. The YES and NO answers that the Electoral Commission will give to the above questions will tell if indeed, irregularities able to call the election results into doubt were committed. The reader can also judge things for him or herself.

I hope this write-up is very informative. It will dampen the hope of some but enliven that of others.

Good luck to you.

Please do not forget what God has asked you to do via Kofi Basoah. Just stay RESOLUTE, the NPP faithful and all discerning Ghanaians. "When the going gets tough, the tough get going". "Quitters never win and winners never quit".

I have absolute faith in God that Nana Akufo Addo, Dr. Bawumia and Jake Otanka Obetsebi-Lamptey will emerge victorious from the suit they have instituted against Kwadwo Afari Gyan and President Mahama.

Rockson Adofo
Columnist: Adofo, Rockson