May 24, 2013 (Front Page)
An attempt by counsel for the National Democratic Congress (NDC), Mr
Tsatsu Tsikata, to tender in evidence a pink sheet from one of the
strongholds of the New Patriotic Party (NPP) to prove allegations of bad
faith on the part of the petitioners backfired when the Supreme Court
overruled the move.
Mr Tsikata had sought to lead the General Secretary of the NDC,
Mr Johnson Asiedu Nketia, to tender in evidence a pink sheet from the MA
Primary School Polling Station at Asokwa in the Ashanti Region to
buttress the NDC’s claim that the petitioners deliberately relied on the
strongholds of the NDC to make claims of irregularities when, indeed,
similar irregularities had occurred at some of their strongholds.
to the tendering of the pink sheet, counsel for the petitioners, Mr
Philip Addison, argued that the document had not been properly laid
before the Supreme Court to warrant Mr Tsikata referring to it.
He also argued that the NDC had not pleaded the documents in its affidavit.
The court sustained Mr Addison’s objection.
after the court’s decision to uphold the objection, Mr Tsikata prayed
the court to allow him to tender it in evidence.
At that point, Mr
Addison objected again, on the grounds that the April 2, 2013 ruling of
the court had directed all parties in the petition challenging the
legitimacy of President Mahama to tender in evidence as exhibits all
documents they wished to rely on during the hearing.
that the Asokwa pink sheet was not part of the documents the NDC had
pleaded to rely on and for that reason if the court allowed it it would
amount to the court no longer relying on its April 2, 2013 order.
is not part of their case. There is no mention of this document. We
have closed our case and are now being confronted with fresh documents.
Under the circumstance, we pray the tendering of the document should be
disallowed,” Mr Addison emphasised.
Mr Tsikata responds
to Mr Addison’s objection, Mr Tsikata reminded the court that on May
22, 2013, it allowed the petitioners to tender in evidence a list of 704
polling stations which had been deleted from polling stations where the
petitioners alleged irregularities.
He, therefore, maintained
that the document was relevant because it had been identified as a
statement of poll and declaration of results at an identified polling
station, adding, “The relevance of the document cannot be contested.”
Tsikata said it was part of the NDC’s case that the issues in
contention related to 26,002 polling stations and it was also important
for the court to take cognisance of the NDC’s pleadings that the
petitioners had acted in bad faith.
Mr Addison rebuts
Mr Tsikata’s argument, Mr Addison indicated that the list of 704
polling stations was already in evidence, and added, “We are not talking
about relevance here; it is about abiding by the rules of the court.”
“They are trying to do a case behind our back,” Mr Addison added.
presiding judge, Mr Justice William Atuguba, took some minutes to go
through the court’s record book to locate the April 2, 2013 ruling.
conferred with his colleagues after locating the ruling and eventually
announced the sustenance of Mr Addison’s objection on behalf of his
Other members of the panel were Mr Justice Julius
Ansah, Mrs Justice Sophia Adinyira, Ms Justice Rose Owusu, Mr Justice
Jones Dotse, Mr Justice Annin Yeboah, Mr Justice Paul Baffoe-Bonnie, Mr
Justice N. S. Gbadegbe and Mrs Justice Vida Akoto-Bamfo.
hearing of the substantive petition, which has the presidential
candidate of the New Patriotic Party (NPP), Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo;
his running mate, Dr Mahamudu Bawumia, and the Chairman of the NPP, Mr
Jake Obetsebi-Lamptey, as petitioners, began on April 17, 2013.
petitioners have alleged that the December 7 and 8, 2012 presidential
election was fraught with malpractices of over-voting, non-signing of
pink sheets by presiding officers or their assistants, voting without
biometric verification and duplicated serial numbers of pink sheets.
However, President Mahama, the EC and the NDC have denied that any such irregularities occurred during the election.