Election Petition: Hearing adjourned to Thursday

The hearing of the election petition seeking to annul the results of the 2012 general election has been adjourned to Thursday, April 25. 

Cross-examination continued on Day 6 of the hearing of the substantive case and saw lawyer Tony Lithur closing his cross-examination. He quizzed the second petitioner on the issues surrounding over-voting and voting without biometric verification among others. 

Lawyer for the the Electoral Commission (EC) Quarshie Idun also commenced his cross-examination of the witness Dr. Bawumia. 

He questioned Bawumia on the EC’s guidelines for the election, the role of polling agents and the process of special voting, among other things. 

One major issue that came under contention was the matter “rogue or unknown” polling stations, to which the petitioners had indicated that they had not sent any polling agents. 

Lawyer Quarshie Idun submitted into evidence letters he claimed were from the petitioners to some polling agents to man the “rogue or unknown” polling stations. 


Below is a timeline of some of the activities as they happened in court 
15:43 – Hearing resumes with Dr Bawumia still in the witness box being cross-examined by Lawyer Quarshie Idun. 

15:25 – Court goes on short recess. 

14:46 – Cross-examination continues with Quarshie Idun quizzing Dr. Bawumia about the process of voting before, during and after the election. 

Philip Addison raises objection to Quarshie Idun’s questions over the collation sheets.

14:42 – Dr Bawumia reads sections of the tendered document per the request of Quarshie Idun. 

14:38 – Quarshie Idun tenders into evidence, ‘The Electoral Commission’s Guide to Candidates and Agents.’

14:33 – Quarshie Idun quizzes Dr. Bawumia about the procedures voters and agents and officials go through on voting day.14:22 – Lawyer Quarshie Idun takes over the cross examination after Tony Lithur brings his to a close. 

14:00 – “When he asks a question, you don’t elect the version you want and answer,” Justice Atuguba tells Dr. Bawumia.

13:55 – Lithur – “Doc, am suggesting to you that in all cases that people voted without biometric verification, it was an error by the EC officials.” 

Bawumia – “Well, I do not agree.”

13:30 – Hearing resumes in the Supreme Court with Dr Bawumia in the witness stand and Tony Lithur cross examining. 

The Supreme Court hearing the election petition case seeking to annul the results of the 2012 general elections is on a lunch break.

Hearing resumes at 13:20 GMT.

12:18 – Court goes on a lunch break and will return at 13:20 GMT

12:15 – Tony Lithur – “Nobody in the 2012 election voted, whose identity had not been checked in the register”

Dr Bawumia – “I was not at all the polling stations.”


11:55 – Cross examination continues in court with Tony Lithur questioning Dr Bawumia about issues relating to voting without biometric verification.

11:35 – Tony Lithur accuses that: “The idea of serial number was conjured by the petitioner to beef up the numbers.” 

Dr Bawumia however responds saying: “I disagree. We cannot trust the integrity of the forms they (Serial numbers) are written on.” 

11:25 – “We expected the second respondent to protect the integrity of the ballot” – Dr Bawumia tells the court after questions from Tony Lithur suggests that the polling agents of the petitioners should have trained to check some of the “irregularities” they claim took place during voting. 

10:50 – “In every single case where results have been annulled, reports were made” – Tony Lithur

No, my Lord, i am not aware of that – Dr Bawumia 

10:40 – “Trim the answers according to the size of the question” – Justice Atuguba cautions both petitioners and respondents

Philip Addison raises an objection to the manner in which, according to him, Tony Lithur is badgering the witness. 

The court cautions lawyer Addison to have his client answer the questions directly.

10:28 – Tony Lithur insists that the differences in total valid votes documented and the number entered into the C1 section of the sheet is so because of an administrative error.

Dr Bawumia however insists that since counsel and himself (Bawumia) were not physically present at the time the details were being entered, an inference could not be made to that effect. 

10:21 – Cross examination begins with Tony Lithur giving Dr Bawumia some sheets, which he says he has run by the lawyers of the petitioners. 

He requests Dr Bawumia to take a close look at the total valid votes at the bottom with C1 on the pink sheets.

10:15 – Lawyers for the petitioners and the respondents introduce their teams to the court. 


Background 

Cross examination of New Patriotic Party’s Vice Presidential Candidate in the 2012 election Dr. Mahamadu Bawumia is set to continue on Wednesday.

During Tuesday’s hearing, one of the Justices of the Supreme Court questioned the cross examination method adopted by lead counsel for President Mahama, Tony Lithur in a bid to prevent further delays.

Though it is unclear if things are likely to change in Wednesday’s hearings, a member of the National Democratic Congress (NDC) Legal Team, Victor Adawudu thinks the respondents have a right to peruse every evidence presented by the petitioners. 

“He [Bawumia] told us in his evidence that he had 24 categories and ended with 4 categories. 

We are still on the over voting and you will see the inconsistency in it. I can tell you that we have other pink sheets that deal with over voting which are clear.”

He alluded to what he referred to as inconsistencies in the answers provided by Dr Bawumia during the cross examination, adding that “the number of polling stations has kept changing”.

 

Source: Citifmonline