The petitioners in the landmark Presidential Election Petition are calling on the Supreme Court to cancel nearly 4 million votes in the December 2012 presidential contest.
The New Patriotic Party (NPP) presidential candidate in the election, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, his running mate Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia and the party’s Chairman Jake Otanka Obetsebi-Lamptey, specifically want the Supreme Court to strike out 3,916,385 votes due to what they said were statutory violations, irregularities and malpractices.
The violations being complained about by the petitioners included over-voting, voting without biometric verification, same serial numbers on pink sheets, as well unsigned pink sheets by Electoral Commission (EC) officials.
At the close of evidence last week, Philip Addison, lead counsel for the petitioners, put it to Dr. Kwadwo Afari-Gyan, Chairman of the Electoral Commission (EC), that President John Dramani Mahama was the ultimate beneficiary of the violations, malpractices and irregularities complained about.
He said out of the 3,916,385 votes the petitioners were seeking to annul, 2,612,788 went to Mr. Mahama whom the ECC boss, Dr. Afari-Gyan declared winner, while Nana Akufo-Addo, the lead petitioner, got 1,228,229.
Dr. Afari-Gyan, in response said “I have no basis in knowing this.”
Giving a breakdown of the violations, malpractices and irregularities, Mr. Addison, who was winding up his cross-examination of the EC boss, said out of a total of 10,081 polling stations, over-voting alone totaled 742,492; but Dr. Afari-Gyan replied, “Unless I know the specific polling stations, it will be difficult to say yes or no.”
Mr. Addison stressed that out of 742,492 being the over-voting figure, 502,013 inured to the benefit of President Mahama (1st respondent) with 225,155 going to Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo (1st petitioner).
Dr. Afari-Gyan replied, “I don’t know the basis for this. It can’t be…If there is an over-vote there is no way you can say it belongs to one candidate…It is wrong to say because someone won an election he is the beneficiary…I can’t answer that question.”
Mr. Addison pressed further, alerting the court that in the “No Verification” category, the total votes affected was 810,827 but Dr. Afari-Gyan insisted that “as far as the EC is concerned everybody who voted was biometrically verified.”
Counsel said in that category alone, 558,236 of those who voted without biometric verification were attributable to President Mahama while Nana Akufo-Addo got 234,161, but the commissioner again said, “I can’t answer the question.”
Mr. Addison said that in the “No signature” category the total valid votes affected was 659,135 and 447,655 were attributable to President Mahama while Nana Akufo-Addo got 197,628; and again, Dr. Afari-Gyan replied that “I have no basis of knowing that.”
On the issue of duplicate serial numbers, Mr. Addison said that 3,499,308 valid votes were affected and 2,338,993 were attributable to President Mahama while 1,093,661 were given to Nana Akufo-Addo and Dr. Afari-Gyan again said “I don’t know that for a fact.”
Mr. Addison: The major beneficiary was the 1st respondent.
Dr. Afari-Gyan: That is not correct.
Mr. Addison: Do you have figures to the contrary?
Dr Afari-Gyan: I announced the results of the election as presented by the various returning officers and those figures have already been made public.
Mr Addison: But it is precisely those results that you announced that are being challenged in this court?
Dr Afari-Gyan: Yes my Lords.
Mr Addison: So I am asking you, do you have any other figures apart from the ones I have just quoted to you?
Dr Afari-Gyan: I’m saying that I have no basis to change the results as announced.
Mr Addison: My question was not whether you had the basis or not.
Dr Afari-Gyan: I don’t have any figures other than the ones that I announced.
Mr Addison: I have given you a set of figures and I also followed that by saying that the first respondent is the major beneficiary of these violations. What do you have to say to that?
Dr. Afari-Gyan: And I said that I denied the first respondent is the beneficiary.
Source: Daily Guide