Addison spars with Justice Gbadegbe over decision to allow count of Atuguba’s pink sheet

Philip Addison, petitioners’ counsel has challenged Justice Sulley Gbadegbe and the decision of the Supreme Court to use Justice Atuguba’s set of pink sheets as a basis to compare it with number of pink sheets that the petitioners’ claim was presented to the respondents.

This comparison is what is termed as a control mechanism in the counting of the sheets ordered by the court and is presently being done by KPMG.

Justice Atuguba on Wednesday ordered that for ‘the avoidance of doubt and in line of consent agreement’ an additional set of a justice of the court should be counted.

But a displeased Addison challenged this decision in open court. He said he did not recall any consent disagreement in the chambers of the court to allow a control mechanism.

He referred to the ruling of the court on 9th May 2013 after the respondents requested for a control mechanism because they believed the process had been compromised.

The respondents had early on protested that some additional boxes had been smuggled in the count meant to ascertain the number of pink sheets the petitioners served on them. They raised an alarm which resulted in the suspension of the count.

Addison said the court expressly rejected the request by the respondents for a control mechanism.

A draft report has been prepared by KPMG and was ready for submission after his team goes through it, he revealed.

He therefore had ‘difficulty in understanding this new order’ when the work has been finished, Addison submitted.

Justice Gbadegbe said Addison’s dispute was surprising. He said the Court’s ruling on 9th May “didn’t” mean the control system had been abandoned’.

He said it was “unfortunate” that their ruling did not form part of their formal order. Nonetheless, the ruling incorporated the order to activate a control mechanism, the judge said.

“It’s strange that only you have a difficulty”, he pointed out.

The issue of the actual number of pink sheets submitted by the petitioners has become a thorny and delicate one for weeks because the petitioners and the respondents have given varied figures.

While the petitioners insist they served 11,842 pink sheets on the Supreme Court Registry, the respondents, namely, President John Dramani Mahama, the Electoral Commission (EC) and the National Democratic Congress (NDC), disagree.

This resulted in a 9th May 2013 court order for a count by KPMG, an international accounting firm.

 

Credit: Myjoyonline